16 November 2015

Not studying a law degree but want a legal career?

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Not studying a law degree but want a legal career?

Time and time again, the legal profession is the focus of Hollywood films and glitzy TV shows. What is it about this profession that draws people in and makes it so intriguing?

Perhaps it’s the drama associated with the courtroom, the power games played between opposing legal experts or simply the mega money earned by top judges and lawyers.

Whatever it is, back in the real world there are other reasons to consider a career in law – maybe not as glamorous, but certainly as important. Find out about law vacation schemes here.

In a rush? Head to the jobs page below:

Legal career paths and salaries

It’s a sector that offers different career routes and opportunities for skilled legal experts; you can go down the route of becoming a barrister, solicitor, paralegal or legal executive in areas like employment law, family law or legal advice.

As a sector it has experienced strong growth in recent years, making it an industry that’s only likely to expand further, rather than shrink.

There are hundreds of openings for graduates every year.

Added to the fact that there are many vacancies and legal jobs is the fact that many of them are well paid, with the average starting salary for graduates hitting £39,000, second only to investment banking.

How law graduates can nab a legal career

If you’ve known since you were a young cherub that you fancied a career in the legal sector then you may well have ventured down the path of doing a law degree at university.

Once you’ve graduated with your law degree, worn your mortarboard proudly and partied hard, you’ll need to take the next step and complete the Legal Practice Course, or the Bar Professional Training Course (if you have your heart set on being a barrister).

After that, you’ll have to enter a training contract with a legal firm and ace the Professional Skills Course, or undertake pupillage if you’ve gone down the barrister path. Once you’ve done all that cool stuff, guess what – you’ll be qualified to work in law!

Worry not, non-law degree students

If you, like many university undergraduates, started your course without even the faintest inkling about what you want to do when you come out the other side as a graduate, you might have decided since that you want to enter the legal profession.

You might be thinking to yourself “but I haven’t got a law degree, do I have a chance of getting a legal job?” Well yes actually, you do.

Granted, it will take you slightly longer, because once you’ve graduated you’ll need to complete a law conversion course like the Common Professional Examination / Graduate Diploma in Law, but when you’ve completed that you’ll be able to take the same route as law degree graduates.

Benefits of legal work experience

Whatever you’re studying, whether that’s a law degree or something like a psychology degree or criminology degree, you always stand to benefit from becoming involved in legal work experience.

legal vacation scheme or insight scheme at a top law firm will give you a great idea about what working in the sector is really like, as they are generally more common in the legal sector than placements or internships.

Even if you do decide to chase a career in another industry, the real-world experience you’ve gained from working at a respected legal company in a top sector like law will stand you in good stead.