Done with your A-levels and unsure about whether to do a law apprenticeship or attend university? Higher education might seem like the obvious choice, but the legal apprenticeship route is becoming more and more common. This is understandable as doing an apprenticeship has some obvious benefits.
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You get to combine a paid job and academic study. Instead of having to pay for the high tuition fees of university, you get paid while you get your qualifications.
This is perfect for those who want a career in law, but struggle to acquire money for both undergraduate study and student housing. It could also be a great opportunity for those who simply wants to save costs and doesn’t want to drown in student debt after graduation.
2. Practical Experience
If you are bored of school, the legal apprenticeship might be an excellent alternative. Chances are that if you are not motivated to study, you won’t find it too easy at undergraduate level. Universities still adopt a highly theoretical approach in their teaching. Law is known as particularly difficult since it involves a significant amount of heavy reading.
If you are more inclined to learn practically, an apprenticeship would be perfect for you. Spending time working with real professionals in a law firm might teach you more about law than any book will.
Watch our Q&A with Maia Crockford, a solicitor apprentice at an international law firm.
3. Progress Your Career Quicker
It is true that doing an undergraduate degree will leave you a broader range of options, as apprenticeships will be specifically towards a type of law career, e.g. solicitor or chartered legal executive. That said, doing an apprenticeship might be a quicker route if you already know what you want to do. It will also feel more relevant since you will be working directly within your field of interest.
Undergraduate study will be broader, so you will have to study some subjects that you might not find very interesting. As you will be working in a law firm, this will also aid you in acquiring contacts and you might even get a job there afterwards. After all, hiring a person they already know and approve of will be more beneficial to employers than to have a whole interview process for new candidates.
4. Valued by Employers
Legal apprenticeships have been on the rise during the last few years and is now highly regarded by employers. Apprentices can offer something that undergraduate students will have a tough time achieving: substantial practical experience.
Employers will know that the person they hire is very familiar with the work environment at a law firm and has hands-on experience. This will be harder to achieve for an undergraduate student as the academic studies take up so much time that it leaves less time for obtaining work experience.
Whether to do a legal apprenticeship or an undergraduate law degree is an important and very personal decision to make. If you are more of a practical learner, looking to earn money or you just want to save money in general, a legal apprenticeship might just be the thing for you!
As employers hold a high regard for both legal apprenticeships and undergraduate degrees, you should not think that either is really any less valuable. As you can tell from this article, choosing to do an apprenticeship can be very beneficial and is an excellent alternative to university.