6 Opportunities for New Lawyers and Law Graduates

For some, having a Bachelor of Laws Degree can sometimes be a hindrance to landing a job. Either you are regarded as over qualified for the entry level job you are aiming for or they do not see your educational background as relevant for the vacancy you are applying for.

For New Lawyers, you might still be in the cross road as to whether you want to join a law firm, put up your own office, join the government, or just venture into other things that has nothing to do with lawyering.

Whether you are preparing for the next scheduled bar examination or job hunting as a new lawyer, here are some career paths you can take to maximize your degree or to add on to the services that you offer as a lawyer.

1. INSURANCE AGENT/BROKER

Not everyone spent a semester in their life learning about the Insurance Code of the Philippines. With your knowledge of this specific law, you can easily shed light to some common concerns of prospective clients such as the difference between a pre-need company vs. an insurance company.

You can even be creative and blend your knowledge on the laws relating to Succession and even Taxation.

With those laws in your finger tips, you have better chances of convincing your prospects to get their first insurance policy from you.

How much you’ll earn?

Limitless! Depending on the plans you’ll be able to sell and the commission plan of your insurance agency, you’ll earn an amount ranging from 25 to even 45% of the premiums your client pay on their first year.

How to start?

Choose an insurance agency that you trust so that you can easily sell their products. The insurance company will usually assist you in obtaining a license to sell insurance. You can search on the big players in this field such as the following:

PHILAM LIFE INSURANCE, SUN LIFE FINANCIAL PHILIPPINES, AXA PHILIPPINES and many more!

Get a mentor and obtain a license so that you can legally sell insurance plans. It is also best that you invest in your own insurance plan so you can sell from experience. Imagine a situation where in the middle of your sales pitch, you were asked what insurance plan you have and you answer: “None”.

2. REAL ESTATE AGENT/BROKER

In law school, you had sleepless nights reading about Laws on Property and Ownership, the Law on Sales, Land Titles and Deeds, Taxation, Contracts etc. This gives you an upper hand if you want to be successful in the field of real estate.  Your days in law school actually gave you a wholistic understanding on what can go on from the point of offer to buy or to sell up to the transfer of properties.

How much you’ll earn?

If you are unlicensed and only a referrer, they usually give 1% to 3% commission based on the selling price of the property sold. Once you get a license, you can demand 5% commission. Again, commission rates are flexible depending on the agreement of the parties.

How to start?

To gain experience, you can start selling condo units as there are a lot of developers looking for sales agents. Do yourself a favor by checking the profile of property developers so you don’t end up selling questionable properties.

Some popular condo unit developers include AYALA LAND INC., SM DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, DMCI HOMES and others that you are actually familiar with in your community.

Or you can even do freelance by offering to sell the property of some relatives or friends who are looking for buyers. Don’t fret, you will be able to learn the tricks of the trade as you go along but first you have to get out from that bed and start grooming yourself to becoming the next real estate tycoon!

3. HUMAN RESOURCE

Nowadays, companies look for  Human Resource Personnel who has knowledge of the Labor Code of the Philippines to help them ensure zero legal liability pertaining to labor.

Didn’t you enjoy two semesters reciting on labor laws and reading jurisprudence on illegal dismissals? With that, you can actually better guide your employer in making sure that he does not violate any labor laws.

How much you’ll earn?

Salaries usually depend on your experience. HR associates can be paid a starting salary based on minimum wage while HR directors can get as high as 6 to 7 digits a month.

How to start?

You don’t go to companies and say: “Hey! I have a law degree and I’m applying for that HR Manager Position.” Unless you have prior HR experience, seldom that companies get fresh from law school people to become their HR Managers.

You usually have to climb the corporate ladder in this field which means that you have to start from being an associate, to an officer, to a manager, and a director.


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4. LAW INSTRUCTOR

If you did not pass the bar yet, you can still teach Constitutional Law  or other social sciences subjects.  Apart from constitutional law, you can also start by teaching Criminal Law to criminology students, some school don’t require that you pass the bar to teach this.

Other universities who are not that strict in law experience may also get you to teach in their law school.

How much you’ll earn?

This depends on the load you are given and the hourly rate of the school where you choose to teach.

How to start?

Apply in Universities and Colleges, of course. Take whatever load they give you just so you can gain teaching experience.

5. ENTREPRENEUR

Being an entrepreneur means you will be your own boss. You will be running your own company and dealing with hiring and terminating employees, tax implications of your business moves, contracts etc. If you are a person with a business sense, do not allow your four (4) years in law school to just go down the drain, you can use your legal training to guide you in building a business empire.

How much you’ll earn?

It depends on the business that you will be starting. Don’t immediately think that you’ll rake money on your first year. Businesses take time before you can even enjoy the fruits of your labor.

How to start?

Know your passion. What do you enjoy doing? Are there needs that you want to address? Do you have a special skill that you think you can offer to the public?

Entrepreneurs usually start with an inspiration to come up with products and unique business models that customers will embrace.  So what do you have in mind?

As for me and my wife, we started Bright Hope Room for Growth Inc., now a premiere preschool in Baguio City.  This was born out of my experience as a former tutor and my wife’s experience as a Guidance Counselor. So bank on your acquired skills to come up with a bright business idea.

6. PUBLIC SPEAKING

While I was still in law school, I usually get invited to talk to college students and I usually share my experience as a job applicant. Apart from sharing my experiences as a job applicant, I also included topics on how to prepare a resume and how to answer job interviews. Since you are a law graduate, you might want to add some topics on basic labor laws, too!

After passing the bar, my topics in speaking engagements evolved to talking about labor laws, criminal law, family, and my experiences as a drugs court lawyer.

If you want to make this as a career, you can start by sharing your experiences on something that you are an expert on. Say for example, leadership etc.

How much you’ll earn?

This depends on the budget of the inviting organization.

How to start?

Say yes to every speaking engagement where you think you can add value to the audience.

The six (6) enumerated career paths are based on my experience and not intended to limit you but to help you realize that there are a lot of possibilities.

Bottom line, you have the ability to open numerous doors of opportunity with your Law Degree, you just have to want to open those doors! 🙂

Do you have any additional suggested career option for law graduates? Comment below. 🙂


Just passed the bar? Or planning to take it?

Do you want to unlock your potential?

Take the Clifton Strengths Assessment now and book a Strengths Awareness Session with Atty. Dexter Diwas.

Click the link below.

https://dexterdiwas.com/gallup-strengths-coaching/

5 Screaming signs your employee is not happy and might resign anytime

     From the time that I worked as an employer-employee relations officer for some BPOs and for retained small business clients (when I was in the private practice) up to this moment that I am managing our own business, I had the privilege to observe and learn how to interpret human behavior in an organization.

     What amazed me are that the signs that will eventually lead to someone leaving the company are predictable. Let me share some indicators that will help you tell if it’s nearing goodbye between you and your employee:

1. They suddenly become frequently tardy – if your employee usually reports to work earlier than anyone else in the office and suddenly started to incur frequent tardiness (almost everyday), this is already a sign that their motivation to come to work has been affected. Their drive to wake up early has waned and they might be considering looking for another job.

If you are in charge of personnel, take this opportunity to get to know them and ask them what’s causing their being tardy. Take this cue to come up with a program that will inspire all members who are going through the same situation.

Important! Don’t forget to document this though as it might prove handy in the future in case their tardiness becomes a liability to the organization and it is already you who wants to say goodbye to them.


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2. They have used up their leave credits and their number of absences have dramatically increased: a motivated employee would love to be in the workplace almost everyday. They have this certain drive and noticeable liveliness at work. But a person who feels he should be somewhere else other than his workplace would usually use up his leave credits to escape the pit where he is currently in. These employees regard leave credits and the chance to be absent like “life lines” that will give them extra energy to survive the daily grind at work.

But when their leave credits are depleted, what happens next?  This might likewise be damaging to your organization so better find out what is causing it.

3. They become less productive: if at first they were usually one of those who close the most number of sales or have always submitted work before deadlines. Now, you feel like the decision of hiring them was all a mistake and you wonder where the person you so courted to join your team has gone.

This is already a waving red flag.  Their enthusiasm to deliver has already faded and allowing this to continue is harmful to both the employee and the employer.  Try to rescue him/her by getting to know what’s causing the problem and start your HR strategy from there.

4. Their linkedin account suddenly becomes updated – stalk them a little and see if their linked in account has been updated. If their linked in account became “so attractive you want to hire him again”, tendency is that they are waiting for that next head hunter to pounce on them.

5. Has facebook posts of being stressed at work – Browsing their facebook account makes you look at your life and say “thank you” that you are not on their shoes. They’ve posted a lot of depressing quotes regarding work or cryptic messages about their workmates that they recently fought with. If he is one talented guy, this person will readily grab an opportunity that comes his way.

Those are just few of the indications that your employee might not be happy at or with his work and has probably contemplated leaving soon.

What will you do then if you see those signs?

If you want to keep them, you better know what motivates them. Come up with programs that will keep them at work such as incentives (money is not always it though) or other activities that will once again ignite their love for their job.

However, if you want to let them go? Do it the right way. Document each tardiness, absence, or decline in productivity (you should be doing this from the onset anyway). Once there is enough evidence that their tardiness, absence, or decline in productivity is becoming a liability, notify them about it and impose the necessary disciplinary action based on the company policy and the law. (Avoid litigation expenses, contact your employer-employee relations lawyer for the proper way to do this)

Just to share, in my experience, there are instances where it is more beneficial for both parties (the employer and the employee) to let go of each other. To make it easier for both of you, you can talk to your employee and tell him/her that you support his/her plans and that if he/she intends to leave, he/she might as well do it the right way so that his/her performance and records will not be affected.

Assure your employees that you will give them a good recommendation for as long as they give their 100 percent dedication while they are in your organization. Sounds so ideal? I have always done this with all of my employees and we have maintained a healthy friendship even if they left the company. So somehow, it works.  It is two-pronged, a win-win solution. You get the necessary dedication while they get the needed support for their career growth.

But the bigger question will be: why would they want to leave in the first place? (But that’s another topic for another time)

So, there you go! As HR people, it may be cliche but why not take advantage of the above signs to help our respective organizations lessen attrition rate and increase productivity.

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About the Author:

Dexter D. Diwas is the co-founder of Bright Hope Room for Growth Inc., a premiere Kindergarten School in the City of Baguio, Philippines.  Apart from being a lawyer, he is also passionate about Business, Human Resource Development, and Career Advising. He is currently taking up Master of Management at the Institute of Management, University of the Philippines – Baguio.