Many of us have become more forceful in recent years in urging prospective and current students to give serious thought both before and during law school to the use to which they intend to put their law degrees. I regularly tell my first-years "You're much more likely to end up someplace you want to be if you think about where you're going." Others have been rather more pointed.
It turns out that this kind of introspection is difficult for a number of reasons. Humans are only so-so at predicting what we're going to enjoy doing when we grow up, at least in something as multifarious as a career, and both our preferences and what's realistically available to us change with experience and results over time. Just as importantly, it's quite hard to get a handle on all the different kinds of things that lawyers do, and the different work environments in which they do them, which is pretty basic to any meaningful reflection about what you might want to do once you graduate. We impart startlingly little "what do you do all day" information to our students (think about it), and though I can't claim to have searched exhaustively, I haven't found any easy access to resources that impart this kind of information. Yes, Mark Hermann's "Curmudgeon’s Guide" and Nancy Rapoport and Jeff Van Niel's "Survival Manual" offer many very useful (and admirably practical and accessible) insights into private law-firm life, and you should definitely read them if that's where you think you're headed, but they address only a small slice of the job market, and even there don't really give the outsider looking in any sense of what capital markets vs. M&A vs. tax vs. various kinds of litigators actually do, let alone address the many other kinds of lawyer work graduates find.
To its credit, Law School Transparency is trying to address this gap. They've announced a series of video [correction: podcast] interviews with practitioners portentously entitled (with a hopefully ironic backward glance at Sly Stallone in his "Judge Dredd" gear) "I am the Law." The press release is here, and the first four interviews are available here.
I confess that I have not yet had the opportunity to listen to the interviews, so I hold no views on whether they are informative, accurate or useful. If you're a career services professional, a law teacher, a law student, or a practitioner, please check out one or more, and post in the Comments how well you think they serve the intended purpose--to help prospective and current law students and recent graduates make informed career choices. I imagine any constructive suggestions offered to Kyle McEntee and his friends while they're compiling their library will benefit all concerned.
Regardless of the early productions' quality, hats off to LST for recognizing and trying to address this real and important need.
Again, please share your thoughts about the interviews in the Comments!