Alternative Careers for Lawyers

Publishing (General)

Literary production in conjunction with literary creativity, in the sense of formulation, sales & marketing, and the distribution of publications. The emphasis on the commercial rather than necessarily the literary.

Specialist publishing will probably hold the most interest for former practising lawyers, either industry-specific magazines or other periodicals, including legal publishing itself. Although incumbent roles can broadly be catagorised under editorial, design, production, sales and marketing, it is the editorial side where lawyers will probably be looking.

Magazine feature editors write original copy, editorial assistant is a usual first editorial role.

Moving away from legal into trade publishing, lawyers with languages will be interested in subsidiary rights sales, particularly sales of translation rights. A subsidiary rights manager builds relationships with publishers abroad, sells translation rights to them and, for full-colour books, often organises the production of the foreign language edition (a coedition helping reduce the unit cost for the whole printing). A sense of the business side is obviously required. Out-of-house freelance skills are increasingly enlisted in the industry as a whole.

E-publishing is increasingly undertaken instead of, or in conjunction with, more traditional methods of accessing a market. Indexing is also a specialist area of publishing on its own.

Commercial pressures are real, particularly because in recent decades many smaller publishers have been subsumed into large publishing groups, but there are still lists which specialise in literary work.

There are now publishing degrees on offer, for example at Oxford Brookes University and there are also specialist publishing employment agencies in London and Oxford. A good place for industry jobs is the Bookseller magazine:

Also, see 'Publishing (Legal)'.

Publishers' Association

29B Montague Street

Tel: 020 7691 9191
Fax: 020 7691 9199

The Publishing Training Centre

Book House
45 East Hill
SW18 2QZ


Tel:020 8874 2718
Fax:020 8870 8985
The Periodical Publishers Association

Queen's House
28 Kingsway

Tel: 020 7404 4166
Fax: 020 7404 4167