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Getting into Law – A career guide

Do you have no idea how to take your first step into your Law career? TBI Law, experts in hospital negligence claims, have began setting out an effective career route into the law industry without delay…

A Level Considerations

It would be best to choose A-Level subjects which would put you in the best possible position to showcase that you can cope with the intellectually challenging subject and profession that is associated with law jobs.

When it comes to A-Levels, you do not need to take law at this stage of your educational life if you have a desire to pursue a career in the law industry. Opt for A-Levels which you’re interested in and those that you’re confident you’ll be able to achieve high grades from, and those which highlight attributes such as developing your analytical, communication and research skills — English, history, maths, and science are all great subjects for this. Universities and potential employers will treat each subject the same as any other A-Level on your application form and so it should only be chosen if you have an interest in the subject.

Many universities exclude A-Levels in general studies and critical thinking when tallying up their A-Level entry requirements. Both subjects should always be regarded as extras as opposed to your core list of A-Levels.

The the following UK universities will require you to take a National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) so be aware of this during your time in sixth form and when applying for your undergraduate law programmes:

  • University of Bristol
  • Durham University
  • University of Glasgow
  • King’s College London
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • SOAS University of London
  • UCL Faculty of Laws

This allows a university to see if a candidate will be able to cope with the demands that they will be subjected to when studying a law degree. This helps to advise the student whether a career in Law is a wise route for them.

A non-law degree or an apprenticeship?

You will have a few choices available to further your education and take that vital next step to enjoying a career in law after you have secured you’re a-Levels.

One option is to study something that you have a passion for and that you’re confident will result in you achieving high grades, before completing a one-year conversion course. This is known as a GDL (a graduate diploma in law) — this course condenses what’s taught in a three-year law degree into a single year.

An alternative option is to study for a law degree. You will also be taught useful skills to enhance your knowledge regarding critical thinking, analytical skills, logical reasoning, and problem solving. This is specifically designed to educate you on the areas of law that you are most likely to come across once you’re a qualified lawyer and settled into your dream job.

However, a route that are becoming increasingly popular are apprenticeships. Both paralegal and articled apprenticeships are also becoming popular as routes into law. Deemed advanced level apprenticeships and introduced in 2014, these school leaver schemes often lead to basic law qualifications being achieved through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and can result in a full-time job being secured as a paralegal.

Training on the job

On-the-job training will be a requirement for any Law career. Even after you have your A-Levels and university degree or apprenticeship secured, you will not be able to walk straight into a job if you have ambitions to become a solicitor or barrister.

The next step will be to complete the Bar professional training course (BPTC), followed by a one-year pupillage at a barristers’ chambers, where you’ll be known as a pupil barrister. If you qualify from this, you’ll hopefully become a tenant and aim to eventually become QC (Queen’s Counsel).

You will be required to complete the postgraduate course titled the legal practice course (LPC) after graduating with your degree or GDL if you’re looking for a career as a solicitor. Upon completion of your LPC, you’ll go through a two-year training contract at a law firm. You’ll be known as a trainee solicitor at this point, though upon qualifying, you will work to be an associate and then have the end goal of eventually becoming a partner.

Roles within Law – Choosing your preferred sector

There there are a variety of jobs available once you have the appropriate qualifications:

Solicitor

The responsibility of providing clients is all down to a solicitor, with expert legal advice and support, whether that client is an individual, a group, a private company, or a public-sector organisation.

Expected salary

Between £25,000 and £40,000 when a starter, increasing to between £40,000 and £90,000 when experienced and to £100,000 or more once highly experienced. Take note that the salary will vary depending on the type of work carried out and the location of a job.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 13,757 jobs related to the search ‘Solicitor’ — check them out here.

Legal Executive

The key difference between a legal executive is that that they will only specialise in one area of law as oppose to many, although they will be both trained in Law.

Expected salary

Between £15,000 and £28,000 when a starter, increasing to between £35,000 and £55,000 when experienced and up to £100,000 once highly experienced.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 5,183 jobs related to the search ‘Legal Executive’ — check them out here.

Barrister

As a barrister — or an advocate if your career route takes you to Scotland — you’ll be tasked with providing specific and specialist legal advice while representing both individuals and organisations in courts and during tribunals.

Expected salary

Between £12,000 and £45,000 when a starter, increasing to between £30,000 and £200,000 when experienced and up to £250,000 once highly experienced. Take note that the salary will vary depending on the type of work carried out, the firm you work for and the location of a job. Employed barristers also generally earn less than those who work in a private practice and can pay their own overheads.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 509 jobs related to the search ‘Barrister’ — check them out here.

Licensed Conveyancer

Licensed conveyancers are responsible for dealing with all the paperwork and finances which are required to buy and sell property or land across England and Wales.

Expected salary

Between £16,000 and £20,000 when a starter, increasing to between £25,000 and £40,000 when experienced and up to £60,000 once highly experienced and a partner.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 736 jobs related to the search ‘Licensed Conveyancer’ — check them out here.

Paralegal

As part of a paralegal’s role, they will be to conduct research and prepare legal documents. They will also have the responsibility of providing their clients with legal advice.

Expected salary

Between £14,000 and £25,000 when a starter, increasing to between £30,000 and £40,000 when experienced and to £40,000 or more once highly experienced.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 4,177 jobs related to the search ‘Paralegal’ — check them out here.

*Jobs available logged as of February 27th, 2018.

Sources:

https://targetcareers.co.uk/career-sectors/law/202-how-do-i-get-into-law

https://targetcareers.co.uk/career-sectors/law/206-what-degree-should-i-do-to-be-a-lawyer

https://www.thecompleteuniversityguide.co.uk/routes-into-law/law-careers/

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/home

https://www.indeed.co.uk/

https://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/salary-calculator