You were right: Those JDs you worked very hard to obtain and went into debt for are a commodity you can leverage. Where you might not have been clear enough is how you are going to make commercial use of that protean credential.
That how is the path of the flexi professional who brings home the bacon through multiple sources of income, i.e. not just practicing law 18 hours a day in a law firm, and plays beneath the radar. You might be a part-time fellow at a think tank such as Cato, an adjunct professor at Kennedy School of Government, a new-business development contract employee at a law firm, a member of the board at your temple or church, and a guest now and then on talk shows. No, you don't have that clear professional identity of another era the way successful lawyers did.
This model of the new way to make a living as well as create/nurture global influence and power has been profiled in THE SHADOW ELITE by Janine R. Wedel. Note, Wedel doesn't approve of the model. However, she concedes that's the way things are currently. The new kind of mover and shaker has a fluid identity, diverse personas, and is not tethered to any employer, person, industry, or profession. Forget loyalty. The game depends on swift application of what one learns, the contacts one makes, and the insider insight acquired during all the free-agent jobs and volunteer work.
In such a context, a law degree can provide a recognized ticket in. The trick is not to present yourself as a lawyer. You are a player with the edge of a law degree. If you can extend that understanding of legal systems internationally, you have even more of a competitive advantage.
Essentially, this path of protean branding is what I have been traveling since 2003 when my one-dimensional business tanked [that sad story with a happy ending Download Geezerguts.] Now I operate diverse brands, which I keep in separate boxes. Rarely do I cross-sell.
If you need more direction into the new economy, you might want to read my book OVER-50: HOW WE KEEP WORKING. It's specific for Baby Boomers but the information and insight apply to all Gens. The book is in paperback [read cheap] and can be ordered online.
If you need to start thinking like a player, here to download free is my presentation at ExecSense Download Rainmaking.