April 16, 2013 Articles

The Switchboard Attorney: A Career You Knew Existed but Never Realized

Your path may lead you to a nontraditional but highly respected role.

By Matt Gipple

Law students and young attorneys today have an increasing number of options regarding career roles and specializations. A law degree is the gateway to becoming anything from a CERCLA specialist to an Internet lobbyist or a mass-tort litigator. But one appealing legal role remains relatively unclassified.

Most legal specializations are well known and easy to commence based on their ties to specific areas of law. For example, one becomes a mergers-and-acquisitions (M&A) lawyer by taking transactional classes in law school, moving to New York, and jumping onto the social scene of the “1 percent.” One becomes a civil-rights lawyer by protesting at law school, moving to Berkeley, and sleeping outside with the “99  percent.” All jokes aside, law students and young lawyers generally enter the legal industry shooting for one of the several well-defined, well-known legal careers that has a fairly clear path.

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