Opinion – Alternative Income Sources for Law School Graduates
Today’s legal profession is more competitive than ever. With a limited number of jobs available, law graduates face tough decisions when considering the next step in their career. Fortunately, other options outside of traditional employment can provide you with a similar level of income and, most importantly, financial freedom. Here are my top three income-generating streams for law grads:
e-books on law
As a law graduate, if you want to share your expertise with others in the profession, you can convert your knowledge into a passive income stream by writing and selling eBooks on the law. A great option would be an e-book or guide where you provide aspiring lawyers with the steps to pass the Namibian Justice Training Center (Bar Association) exams, or any other legal subject.
You can also co-author a book with an expert in your industry to add credibility to your work. There are platforms like Amazon, Kobo or your website where you can sell digital copies of your book.
Designing and selling quality legal information products can be lucrative for law graduates who want to earn a living on their terms. One of the benefits of being an infopreneur is the low barrier to entry. Virtually anyone with a passion and skill in a specific legal area can create and sell an information product with little or no capital.
There are various popular niche markets for lawyers with specifications in criminal law, anti-money laundering, financial services regulation, cybersecurity law, corporate law, and contract law. The popularity of these specific areas has created a need for legal information products that take the form of how-to guides, templates, manuals, videos and audio recordings.
For example, if your interest and expertise is in criminal law, you can create a textbook with all the information students need to know for their criminal law course. It can also include sample questions and answers, worksheets and quizzes, case studies with all legal terms defined in layman’s terms – basically anything that would be useful for law students studying criminal law. Additionally, you can create a membership site where people who buy your textbook can sign up for more information like webinars or email courses on key criminal law topics.
There are several free and affordable video editing platforms, software, and tools to create these products, such as Canva, YouTube, skillshare, raw shorts, and renderforest that don’t require any graphic design or video production skills.
The key to success with this particular strategy is finding high-quality, relevant, and current information that provides added value to your audience. Be sure to provide information that solves your readers’ problems before investing time or money in this option.
Become a law professor online
The coronavirus pandemic has forced students and educators at all levels of education to quickly adapt to online learning. In light of this, tutoring has recently become the easiest and fastest way to make money online. If you have a popular YouTube channel that teaches legal topics, you can offer paid subscriptions on your channel or sell your course materials.
You can tutor students in any subject, which means you will have different options for your clients. Also, tutoring does not require a lot of start-up costs as most tutors work from home or at local libraries. All you need is a computer and a stable internet connection, as well as strong communication skills to build relationships with your students. So, if you are familiar with technical legal concepts or texts and can explain them in simple terms, tutoring may be right for you.
So, to all new LLB graduates and newly admitted legal practitioners, avoid the common mistake of waiting for vacancies. Waiting means you are not taking any proactive steps to create your opportunities. Opportunities don’t just present themselves – they’re there to be seized if you put in the hard work, research, time and effort to create them.
The first step is to begin by identifying your area of specialization. If it requires a master’s degree and you have the financial means, then pursue it. Second, determine if there is a demand for your expertise. Third, identify issues that are keeping law students or potential clients up at night, and finally offer solutions using the passive income streams above.
*Chisom Obiudo is a Chartered Lawyer and Certified Specialist in Corporate Governance. She is currently employed as a Senior Legal Officer at the Namibian Law Reform and Development Commission. Contact her at email@example.com.