Not Interested In The Law Firm Life? Consider Working For A Nonprofit Association.

It’s a common dilemma: a lawyer starts his careers in a law firm, then after a few years, becomes dissatisfied with the work. Whether it’s the hours or the work environment, he feels there’s something missing. For some lawyers, that missing something is a mission. For attorneys who are mission-driven or committed to a cause, a nonprofit association can be a great fit. I briefly talked to Charlotte Weeks, a nationally recognized career expert and author of I Want to Work in an Association, Now What???, about nonprofit associations as employers and the opportunities available for attorneys.

Question: Why would lawyers want to work in an association?

Charlotte: In general, associations offer more of a work-life balance than law firms. Since they’re more mission-driven than bottom-line focused, many employees feel that they have an opportunity to make a difference. At the same time, associations’ salaries are more closely aligned with corporate payscales than traditional non-profits.

Question: What opportunities are there?

Charlotte: Associations of all types often have in-house counsel. However, there are also associations that specifically serve the legal profession such as:  American Immigration Lawyers Association, Commercial Law League of America, and the Legal Marketing Association.

Question: What exactly is an association?

Charlotte: Associations are organizations where members join together to further a common interest. They usually focus on education, advocacy, and awareness.

Question: Where are associations located?

Charlotte: All over the United States AND internationally. The two largest U.S. markets are Washington, D.C. and Chicago.

I’ll be talking more with Charlotte in the future, but in the meantime, you can purchase her book here.