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A career in law is an appealing option for many students deciding on what to study at university. It’s also seriously worth considering if you’re looking for apprenticeship opportunity, thanks to the recent introduction of legal apprenticeships. Whether you’re considering studying law to ultimately become a legal apprentice, solicitor, barrister, paralegal or chartered legal executive – or if you’re still undecided – we have all the information you need to get ahead!

Law Careers Introduction

Law careers encompass fascinating and wide-ranging professions which have huge impacts on daily life for us all. Whether you’re buying a pair of shoes, applying for a job or ordering a coffee, most routine daily activities are governed by law in some way, shape or form.

Making the bold decision to study law and pursue one of several different law careers is not one that should be taken lightly since it entails around six years combined legal study and practical legal training.

The Lawyer Portal is designed to assist you in this process, offering step-by-step guides as well as information on what you need to do to set the proverbial wheels in motion.

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What Is a Career in Law Like?

The practice of law comes in many forms and the term “lawyer” encompasses a number of different law careers, including:

Whichever of the legal careers you ultimately pursue, your work will involve a high level of diversity and a range of tasks,which are likely to include:

  • Drafting legal contracts and documents
  • Negotiating on behalf of clients
  • Researching and interpreting points of law
  • Representing clients in court
  • Offering high quality and specialist legal and commercial advice.

It is vital that you know your client and understand their individual or business needs. Acting for commercial clients, for example, will involve having a broad and deep understanding of how their business works and what makes them tick.

So, as well as having a firm grasp on the theoretical elements of law, you will also be expected to demonstrate high levels of commercial awareness.

The practice of law also offers unique opportunities to help businesses and individuals develop, succeed, resolve, flourish, and take on new challenges. It also offers the chance to make a genuine difference to a client’s organisation and how it operates.

However, it is important not to view the legal profession entirely through rose-tinted glasses. As a lawyer, there will be times when you are expected to work long hours in high-stress environments and with demanding clients who want the job done yesterday. This means that patience, resilience, a positive attitude towards hard work and the drive to obtain the best possible outcome for your client are crucial.

What Qualifications Do You Need for a Career in Law?

The qualifications you need to become a lawyer depends on which route into law you plan to take. If you want to become a barrister, you will first have to complete a qualifying law degree or a non-law degree followed by the GDL law conversion course. You will then need to continue onto the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) before you can secure yourself a pupillage, the final step before becoming a fully-fledged barrister.

To qualify as a solicitor, you will have to follow your qualifying law degree or GDL with the Legal Practice Course (LPC). You will then carry out a two-year period of recognised legal training before fully qualifying as a solicitor. The new route consists of passing the SQE exam and completing a period of recognised training.

Law Careers and Legal Work Experience

To ultimately decide whether a legal career is right for you, it is vital that you do your research and obtain some law work experience at the earliest possible stage. Law work experience will give you an invaluable insight into the legal profession, what it involves and crucially whether it’s right for you. It is never too early to get started. The time invested in researching and completing law work experience now will pay dividends. This will ensure you make the career decision that’s right for you.

What Makes a Good Lawyer?

Other factors to consider when deciding on a legal career include the types of skills and qualities you will be expected to develop to successfully practice law. You can read more about these in our ‘What Makes a Good Lawyer?’ section.

Barrister v Solicitor Quiz!

If, out of all the legal careers, you are most drawn to solicitor and barrister, why not have a go at our fun and interactive Barrister v Solicitor Quiz to see which profession you are most suited to?

Law Statistics and Facts

Take a look at our Law Statistics and Facts page when deciding on a legal career and whether to become either a Law at School Help Group

We also have a Facebook Help group, where students can ask questions and share advice with one another. If you’re at school and thinking about a law career, you can join it here!

What’s it Like to Study Law?

Read some of our top accounts from current law students:

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