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K-12 Jobs for M.Ed. Grad With a Legal Background

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Q:
I have a law degree and worked in the legal field for 5 years. I recently completed my masters in Educational Leadership because of my love for education but now I feel lost because I am unsure of the approach to take, in using these two areas of expertise. I would love to work in Education but have not been successful in identifying the area that would be best suited for me. Please advise.

A:
I teach a monthly on-line Job Search Seminar for perspective and practicing administrators. The very first issue we deal with is creating career goals with a specific timeline. We begin with today's date and project out to retirement. I have found that creating career goals with specific time lines helps you organize your career and career advancement. If you have not done so, I would encourage you to begin with that activity.

That being said, you have an excellent background to make some choices as to how you want to advance your career. I think the first decision you need to make is "Do you want to be an educational attorney working with school districts or a school district?" or "Do you want to be an educational administrator with a legal background?" Once you have answered that question your career path will become clearer.

If you choose to be an educational administrator with a legal background, decide what level of administration you wish to pursue, building principal or central office administrator. Identify the state or states you wish to work in, and begin your research into potential districts and openings. In-depth research is the key to attaining your next position.

If you choose to be an educational attorney who works with districts, identify firms in the state or states in which you are interested that specialize in educational law. One of the best ways to identify those firms is to contact the Executive Director of the state administrator's association and ask her or him to give you the names of the top three or four firms that represent school districts.

--Thomas Jacobson Ph.D., CEO/Owner, McPherson & Jacobson L.L.C.

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