Ready to put your career in the hands of the law? We’ve got you covered…
So you’ve graduated, and you’re ready to enter the world of work. But as a law degree provides you with so many skills and abilities, alongside specialist knowledge of legal practices, figuring out which career path to take can be tough.
To help you decide what legal job is right for you, here’s our advice on what you can do with your law degree:
Business & legal
Legal Secretary. This role involves providing administrative support and services to legal professionals, including Lawyers, Solicitors, and Legal Executives – to ensure they have the time and resources to focus on their clients.
How to get there: As there are no set entry requirements to become a Legal Secretary, it’s a great way for recent graduates to break into the law industry. However, your law degree will certainly help set you apart, as will word processing skills, and office experience (e.g. as an Administrator or a Receptionist). If you’re lacking in practical expertise, temp work is particularly common in this industry, and will undoubtedly boost your chances of being considered.
Solicitor. Solicitors use their expert legal knowledge to advise clients and act on their behalf when they have law related issues. They could work with members of the public, groups of people, or companies, specialising in areas such as family law, litigation, property, or tax.
How to get there: With a law degree, you’ll be able to take the Legal Practice course (LPC) straight away, which involves vocational training designed to teach you a range of essential skills. You’ll then be required to carry out a period of recognised training, followed by the Professional Skills Course (PSC) – which will qualify you to work as a Solicitor. Relevant work experience is also essential, whether it’s through summer placements, internships, or participating in student law activities.
Banking & finance
Financial Advisor. Whether it’s by helping clients choose investments, savings, pensions, mortgages, or insurance packages – it’s a Financial Advisor’s job to ensure organisations and individuals are managing their money safely and securely; in a way that maximises profit.
How to get there: Aside from a degree in a related subject, employers will also look for candidates who have relevant experience. Sales, advisory, or customer service positions in particular provide a variety of transferable skills, and it’s also possible to work your way up from financial support roles (such as a Paraplanner).
Tax Inspector. If you’re interested in combining your legal knowledge with finance, this role could be for you. Tax Inspectors ensure individuals and companies pay the correct amount of taxes within set deadlines – whether it’s through inspecting financial accounts, offering advice on tax legislation, or investigating suspected fraud.
How to get there: To become a Tax Inspector, you’ll need to gain entry to the HMRC Tax Professional Graduate Programme – which involves a number of tests and assessments designed to test your abilities. Any previous work experience that demonstrates everything from analytical and problem solving skills to independent thinking and initiative is also sought after. HMRC also runs an internship programme for students in their last year of study, which is another great way to break into the role.
Politics & public sector
Police Officer. Police Officers maintain law and order through the prevention, investigation, and prosecution of crime. Their role is vital to ensuring members of the public and their property remain safe and protected at all times.
How to get there: Landing a career as a Police Officer is all about proving your skills and abilities with relevant experience – whether it’s through sports coaching, working with youth groups, taking part in university clubs or societies, or joining the Volunteer Police Cadets. You’ll also need to show a passion for a career in the police force, with specialist knowledge of the structure and challenges of your local community.
Health and Safety Officer. Health and Safety Officers monitor, maintain, and improve health and safety standards with public and private organisations. This is done by visiting a range of organisations, where they investigate accidents, provide advice, and record health and safety infringements.
How to get there: Aside from knowledge of health and safety laws and legislations, you’ll also need to be an excellent communicator with great problem solving skills. Studying for a postgraduate or professional qualification in health and safety may also be useful, in addition to finding work as a trainee or finding other entry-level work within the industry (e.g. as a Sales Executive or Recruitment Consultant).
Other industries to consider: Recruitment, HR, Teaching, Media, Marketing & PR.
Skills to utilise
Studying law allows you to gain a wide range of knowledge that can not only be applied in legal professions – but also in other sectors which require an understanding of legal consequences and responsibilities.
Here are a few of the key skills gained from a law degree:
- Knowledge and understanding of the law
- Research and analysis skills
- An ability to evaluate and interpret information
- Critical and objective thinking
- An ability to construct clear arguments
- Using evidence to come to logical conclusions
- Written and spoken communication skills
Those who want to pursue a career in law will need to carry out further study and training specific to their expertise.
For example, aspiring Barristers are required to take the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), whilst graduates wanting to become a Solicitor should complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC). Each of these courses are followed by a training period designed to give you the practical skills needed to qualify as a legal professional.
However, if you’re looking to migrate into a different industry, postgraduate study in your chosen field may be useful. There are also a variety of professional qualifications that could help you develop your skills and learn more about a particular subject.
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