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Alternative Juris Doctor Careers: Academic Administration | ALU

Alternative Juris Doctor Careers: Academic Administration | ALU

Though many people go to law school to obtain a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in order to practice law, the degree may also be a valuable tool in other careers outside of public or private practice. The Abraham Lincoln University Blog will highlight other career options to pursue with your J.D. in a new series of posts. Up next: Academic administration.

Academic Administration for J.D. Graduates

Academic administration is another field that does not require a Juris Doctor degree, but where such an advanced degree can be of help, especially in postsecondary institutions. The predominant number of law school administrators and officials are J.D. graduates, and those who have gone through law school curriculum have a distinct advantage when seeking jobs in law school administration.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a two percent increase in available jobs in postsecondary academic administration over the next decade. This is below the average job growth, but it is a good sign that this job sector is still growing, unlike many other sectors. When the last comprehensive statistics were compiled, postsecondary school administrators had median annual wages of around $80,000.

In colleges, universities and other postsecondary institutions, academic administration jobs tend to fall into these categories:

  • Provosts, Chief Academic Officers, Deans: Depending upon the institution, the titles may be different, but the administrators at the highest levels make faculty appointments and tenure decisions, develop budgets, and establish academic policies. Fundraising may also be a major part of the job.
  • Department Heads, Chairpersons: Administrators at this level may teach as well, and specialize in particular fields of study. Law school-educated officials often head up the law school itself or legal studies departments.
  • Student Services: There are also positions for administrators in the student services sector, registering studies, recording grades, preparing student transcripts, and other tasks.

Within the field of academic administration, an advanced degree is usually required, and the Juris Doctor can be valuable when seeking jobs at postsecondary institutions. If you are interested in education and the law, consider academic administration as you begin your career search.


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