Typically when people hear “juris doctorate,” the word lawyer immediately comes to mind. But what about opera singer or JAG Corps?
These seemingly unlikely career tracks are indeed possible with a JD, as Megan Rehberg and Tom Menza of UDRI’s office of contracts and grants administration demonstrated Feb. 29 at an information session for University of Dayton School of Law students.
Rehberg held seven different internships at seven different firms before graduating from UDSL in 2009. But as the end of law school approached, she knew she wanted to be able to devote time to her hobby of opera singing. A “day job” as UDRI’s grants administrator allows Rehberg to do so while continuing to work in a position she describes as very similar to administrative law and a little like civil procedure.
Prior to attending law school, Menza was a contracting officer for the United States Air Force.
“It was the closest I could get to law school without going to law school,” he said.
Afterward, he went from the Judge Advocate General’s Corps to a law firm, and finally to UD as the contracts and grants administrator preaward.
Throughout their presentation, Rehberg and Menza stressed that students should begin networking early and reach out to friends, family members, colleagues and anyone else who could provide relevant information and contacts, regardless of their field.
Rehberg said the most important thing for students considering non-traditional JD careers to do is have their stories ready.
“Because people are going to ask right away,” she said, “‘Why don’t you want to be a lawyer?’”