Most former and current in-house lawyers are well-experienced in terms of wearing different hats. In a day, an in-house attorney could be a business advisor, a fierce advocate, a patient mediator, or a calm psychologist while analyzing legal papers, all at once. However, most lawyers haven’t considered adding a unique profession to their lists. Can you be an English teacher with a law degree? In this post, we’ll take a look at why teaching English is one of the rock-solid careers you can pursue with your degree in law.
Can You Be an English Teacher with a Law Degree? Solid Answers
According to Lord Denning, “Words are the lawyers’ tool of trade.” They are people who have high verbal skills, which make up an excellent English teacher. Not only are they great in general English, but they can also teach students and professionals legal English. Most people do not know that there’s a big difference between the two. And today’s highly competitive market for professionals makes all the difference if a person has an advanced level in speaking and writing English.
It’s not a secret that English is the business people’s tool of communication. They need to succeed in making people understand their messages as well as the conditions they want to establish. Thus, one should never take for granted the accuracy of writing and speaking English.
Lawyers know the importance of being fluent in English. Of course, they need to speak the language on behalf of their clients. To gain the faith of such clients, lawyers must speak accurately and clearly so that the precise message would be conveyed.
This requirement is one of the reasons why it’s easy to answer the question; can you be an English teacher with a law degree? We can’t deny that studying law is one of the hardest ordeals for students, and they have to dedicate time and effort to be a good lawyer. During those years, you might not be aware that you have already mastered both general and legal English, a great stepping stone for your English teaching career.
English Teaching Opportunities for Lawyers
If you have a law degree, then it’s good to know that there are endless options that can help you balance your legal practice. Teaching English, for instance, is a flexible option.
There are lawyers from the government and law firms, and even those in-house, who teach brief courses or conduct seminars. Some facilitate semester-long classes. What makes teaching a pursuable career for lawyers is that opportunities are everywhere. Lawyers can teach English at law schools, universities, colleges, business schools, and other educational institutions, either online or offline. Often, a lawyer’s Alma matter presents itself as the most excellent starting point for trying out another credible profession.
Here’s are the Top Tips
The tips below can help you have a good and reliable start if you’re considering English teaching as one of your career options.
Join the academic community.
If you’ve made yourself believe that all you would be doing is to practice law, then it might be a real challenge to pursue a career in a non-legal position. The feeling is not only unfamiliar; it could also be extremely uncomfortable. The ordeal becomes even more difficult if you have been far removed from your law school experience.
When it comes to joining the academic community, it’s a recommended step to start small. Take advantage of panels and lunchtime talks. These short moments can be excellent opportunities to introduce yourself and to build credibility. Many groups of students are eager to talk to someone who has new experiences and knowledge to share with them. You might start receiving an invitation to teach English once you have proven yourself as a reliable industry speaker.
Another great way of building your reputation is to showcase your potential value as a part of an educational community. For instance, you can show your willingness to be a part of the institution’s overall job placement efforts. You can come forward and help high-performing students in finding a position, either within your company or within your network. Likewise, you can provide mentorship, networking opportunities, and guidance for your target students.
Choose your topic.
If you’re planning to be an English teacher, then you must be able to choose a topic which you know well, something you are interested in and passionate about. Perhaps you’re thinking that teaching a language is much easier than practicing law; however, it comes with a set of responsibilities. Class preparation can be time-consuming, you have to have a lesson plan, and of course, the grading system. Furthermore, you should be prepared for eager students who would follow up with the lessons outside of office hours or regular classroom hours.
Keep in mind that choosing a topic you already know, such as the English language, will make teaching a more enjoyable profession. Since you already know what to do, you wouldn’t need to spend a long time preparing. Your passion for the subject would be evident, ultimately allowing you to deliver a more engaging and more satisfying learning experience.
Establish your English teaching methods.
The subject would strongly dictate your teaching strategies. Fortunately, in teaching English, there are plenty of ways to enhance the usual learning experience. As a teacher with a law degree, you surely know the importance of going beyond lectures to promote engagement and encourage them to apply what they have learned in real life. So, before pursuing this career option, determine what add-ons you will have with your topic and teaching methods. You can consider using books, videos, and incorporating mock arguments, mock negotiations, field trips, and inviting guest speakers.
Choose whether you will teach online or offline.
The online community is another great place for lawyers who are interested in teaching English. If you have a hard time deciding whether you would do it online or offline, think of the things you want to accomplish with your potential class.
Both options have their advantages and disadvantages. For instance, teaching English online is more accessible for lawyers who have the nature of taking on different hats in a day. Furthermore, it is more likely to gain a wider group of students. However, since you would do the teaching virtually, you have to practice beforehand to ensure you’ll be able to deliver an exciting and interactive English learning experience to your students.
Offline teaching, on the other hand, leads to more hands-on experience in teaching English. You would be able to build more personal connections as well. There’s a higher likelihood that you can conquer not only the minds but also the hearts of your students.
Consider and know your students.
If you are preparing to develop your English class, it’s essential to consider your potential audience. Do you want to teach students who just want to learn basic English? Or are you thinking of teaching legal English at a law school? It is crucial to know the level of your students so that you can prepare the appropriate resources and the techniques to make learning enjoyable and fruitful for them.
Seek help from English professors.
Having a degree in law could also mean you have a vast network. You can even check your previous university and observe professors who teach English, particularly those with an excellent reputation in their crafts. Don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask them for strategies and tips. Chances are, you’ll meet English teachers who have been doing their works for ages, and they have already learned the art of teaching. Visit them in their classrooms or sit with them as they teach online to learn potential strategies for this career option.
Read a lot.
As they say, there’s always something new to learn when you read. Right now, there is no shortage of resources you can use to ramp your teaching styles and methods. Check out what English language professors recommend, and you’ll likely discover a pot of gold on those books.
The question, “can you be an English teacher with a law degree?” is answerable by yes! However, keep in mind that this could be a huge step and that the initial stages could be overwhelming. However, rest assured that everything will be worth it if you’re passionate about teaching the English language. As most educators say, teaching is a labor of love. Be guided by your objectives for your future students so that you will ultimately benefit equally.
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