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  • KGAElaineCook

Careers in Law (All Years)

Updated: Jun 13


Laws are official rules that regulate the way we act. If we break them, we can be fined, forced to do community service, or even go to prison. Our legal system and the laws that we pass are designed to protect people’s safety, their property and their rights.


What jobs are out there?


Law is made up of a whole host of jobs. Barristers represent clients in court, presenting the case for the defence or prosecution by cross-examining witnesses and presenting legal arguments to the judge and/or jury. Solicitors work directly with clients – some assist individuals on issues such as writing a will or getting a divorce, while others advise and represent organisations in legal matters.

 

Then there are conveyancers, solicitors who specialise in the buying and selling of property. There are many other specialist legal professionals too, such as patent attorneys whose expertise is in intellectual property. Many people are also involved in supporting the legal system – from court reporters who record what is said in court to ushers who make sure proceedings run smoothly, doing things like preparing the courtroom and calling witnesses.


What skills do I need?


Communication: Being able to deliver a message clearly and persuasively is particularly important for legal professionals such as barristers, who must be able to convince a judge or jury of the strength of their arguments. Learn more.


Critical thinking: Critical thinking skills allow you to evaluate facts and data rather than accepting them at face value. Legal professionals must apply this skill to evidence when presenting their own case or scrutinising their opponent’s. Learn more.


Research: Research is the skill of finding information from reliable sources. For legal professionals, this might involve looking through legislation or finding out about historical legal cases. Learn more.


What subjects should I take?


English - In English, you will develop the communication skills legal professionals need to present a clear and persuasive case. You will also learn to structure an argument and respond to counter-arguments


History - You’ll really hone your research skills by studying history. You will learn how to reach an understanding of events in the past by looking at historical evidence – the same process barristers, solicitors and other legal professionals follow in their work


Psychology - Psychology is about getting inside people’s heads. Understanding what might be motivating other people is a great skill for barristers when cross-examining witnesses in court. It will help you draw out answers which support your case


Uni or apprenticeship?


University is a great way into legal careers which require a degree – roles such as barrister and solicitor. However apprenticeships are available in some of these careers, so make sure you know your options before applying.

 

Not all legal careers require a higher education qualification – for example, legal assistant and paralegal.


More and more apprenticeship programmes are becoming available for different roles in law, for example:

  • Legal executive

  • Paralegal

  • Solicitor


Opportunities for everyone…


Although legal professions have a reputation for being a bit posh, today there are lots of schemes available to help people from under-represented backgrounds begin a career in law. For example, many employers now offer the Diversity Access Scheme, which provides work experience, mentoring and funding to young people who may not otherwise have entered a career in law.

 

Ask employers if they offer this scheme or similar programmes


For More information about a career in law, click HERE

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