Pre-Law Advising at Lowell House gives their answer to the question, What do people with law degrees do? as follows:
The up side of having a law degree is that most people, institutions, and/or organizations at one time or another need a lawyer. Recently, demand for new lawyers has been strong, and the typical graduating law student may choose from an array of jobs, including private practice at a law firm; federal, state, or local government jobs; or jobs with nonprofit organizations, such as foundations or advocacy groups. Newspapers, corporations, consulting firms, universities, and countless other institutions also hire lawyers. The law impacts most areas of our lives and law degrees open a wide array of doors.
In private practice, the nature of the work tends to vary by geographic region.
For example, lawyers practicing in New York law firms tend to concentrate on corporate transactional law, litigation (i.e., law suits), tax law, real estate law, and other finance-related matters. Lawyers in D.C. firms may focus on more regulatory, government-related affairs involving government contracts, trade, health, and environmental issues, and communications. Many D.C. firms also have a legislative practice, through which well-connected attorneys regularly lobby Congress and the Administration on behalf of their clients. Many firms in large cities also have substantial international law practices. Private criminal defense work is also widely available.
Government legal work also varies depending on the agency or department and the level of government. For example, attorneys in the Department of Justice are involved in a variety of civil and criminal matters, ranging from antitrust to civil rights work. Lawyers at city law departments litigate on behalf of their city, which includes defending the actions of government agencies and local government officials. Public defenders' offices, district attorneys and state attorney general's offices also offer exciting legal opportunities.
Lawyers practicing in the nonprofit sector may engage in a wide array of activities. Many of these lawyers represent low-income families and seek to address issues associated with housing, immigration, access to government benefits and health care, fair employment practices, domestic violence, and other family matters. This work may focus on direct representation of families or may integrate this work with efforts to achieve large-scale change through policy and/or legislation. Additionally, lawyers play an important role in advancing human rights and other international policy issues through a wide array of international organizations."
"Finally, lawyers often become judges, legal academics, politicians, policymakers, business people, entrepreneurs, and diplomats."