Are you thinking about becoming a barrister, solicitor, chartered legal executive or paralegal and wondering which law courses you need to take to set you on your path? You’ve come to the right place! Keep reading to get informed and get ahead – and scroll down to see a flow chart of the different pathways to law!
NOTE: As of today’s date, to pursue a career as a solicitor, you will need to follow the relevant steps set out below. However, following the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA’s) announcement on 25 April 2017, the way solicitors will train and qualify will change dramatically once the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) takes effect. The SQE is set to be introduced from September 2020, which will mark the phasing out of the GDL and the LPC. To find out more, click on the link! The Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE).
Law Courses – I Have Completed a Non Law Degree – What Next?
Graduate Diploma in Law (the GDL)
If, on completion of a non law degree you decide you want to pursue a career in law, you must complete a law conversion course such as the GDL. This effectively ‘upgrades’ your existing degree to a qualifying ‘law degree.’ You will spend 1-2 years studying all the compulsory modules of a law degree including tort, contract law, constitutional law, EU law, property law and equity and trusts.
Click on the link to find out more – Graduate Diploma in Law or Law Conversion Course
Law Courses – I have completed a Law Degree or the GDL – What Next?
If you have completed a qualifying LLB law degree or the GDL the next step is to take the plunge and decide which career path you want to tread. This is where the road splits, so to speak.
The Legal Practice Course (the LPC) – Solicitor Law Courses
If you decide to become a solicitor, you will need to complete the LPC. The LPC is 1-2 year a vocational course designed to equip you with skills (such as interviewing, advocacy and legal research) and legal knowledge (in areas such as business, litigation and property law) which are required to successfully practice as a solicitor.
Click on the links to find out more:
The Legal Practice Course (LPC)
How to Become a Solicitor
Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) – Barrister Law Courses
Should you decide that the court room is more your thing and you want to train as a barrister, you will need to complete the BPTC. The BPTC is a 1-2 year vocational course designed to arm you with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully practice as a barrister.the study of evidence, litigation, sentencing and advocacy are just a few of the topics you will cover.
For further detail click on the links:
The Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)
How to Become a Barrister
CILEx – Chartered Legal Executive Law Courses
If you decide that you would like to practice as a Chartered Legal Executive, the next step is to enrol on the CILEx Graduate Fast-track Diploma to set you on your way. The Fast Track Diploma takes between 9-15 months to complete and covers
For more information click on the links
How to become a Chartered Legal Executive
LLM – Masters Law Courses
If you decide that you would like to continue on a more academic path, deepening your knowledge in a particular area of law, you may want to consider an LLM.
For full details of what an LLM entails, click on the link:
LLM (Master of Laws)
Law Courses – I have completed GCSEs / A-Levels and Don’t Want to go to Uni – What Next?
If university just isn’t your thing or you are keen to avoid costs associated with higher education, you may want to consider applying for a legal apprenticeship. Completeing a law apprentiship will lead to qualification as a paralegal, chartered legal executive or solicitor.
Legal apprenticeships can be commenced following A-Level study and essentially involve a combination of learning on the job alongside some academic study.
To find out more about apprenticeships, click on the link:
CILEx Law Courses
There are even opportunities to start your legal career following completion of GCSEs. You can enrol onto a two year CILEx Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice, following which you can advance onto a two year CILEx Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice.
To get the full lowdown on chartered legal executive courses and practice, click on the links:
How to become a Chartered Legal Executive
Law Career Pathways
Wondering what the different pathways to law are?
Whether you’re looking to complete an apprenticeship after your GCSEs or the LPC after your LLB law degree, there are many different routes to law – whether you’re interested in becoming a barrister, solicitor, paralegal or chartered legal executive. The flow diagram below shows all the different pathways to law, from GCSEs to qualification.