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Career Options for Registered Nurse/Law Student

By Edward Honnold

Q: I am a registered nurse (Labor & Delivery, Neonatal ICU experience) and soon to be first year law student. People are constantly asking me if I plan to go into medical law. My stock answer is that I don't know. Is it okay to not have determined what kind of law you want to practice as you start law school? Am I really looking a gift horse in the mouth by not going into medical law with such high liability experience as L&D and NICU? Finally, what are possible career paths with my education/experience?

A: It is perfectly acceptable not to know what kind of law you want to practice before you begin law school. In fact, when a pre-law student claims to know what she wants to do upon graduation, I usually suspect that she has no idea what she is talking about, and I fully expect that her ideas will change several times before graduating. While studying law, however, you can keep your eyes open for coursework, term papers, clinical training or volunteer experience that might deepen your experience in the area of medical law. Possible career paths can include medical malpractice, hospital legal work, or work with insurance or managed care companies.
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