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What Experience Do You Need For A Career In Law


All you need to know about the Law industry

If you’re a logical, persuasive person and interested in serving justice then you might be considering a career in law. There are a variety of roles that you can do within law and you can choose to specialise in a range of different areas from criminal, to family, to commercial. Each will require a slightly different skillset and an incredible understanding of the law and legislation within your area.

The word ‘lawyer’ is generally an umbrella term to describe solicitors and barristers.

Solicitors do most of the work outside of court including gathering evidence and information, whereas the barristers put the argument together and then present it before the judge. Barristers are typically paid more than solicitors, but the average pay for both is much higher than the national average.

Starting salaries are highly competitive, particularly for graduates as the top companies want to attract the best talent. Law careers in general are very highly paid. When you reach the top of your career, you might want to be a judge. Judges are senior lawyers and have many years of experience behind them.

Variety of different areas you could specialise in including (but of course not limited to):

  • Criminal law

  • Employment law

  • Commercial law

  • Banking law

  • EU law

  • Environmental law

  • Family law

  • Human rights law

  • Public law

To some extent you will be able to tailor a degree towards the area that you desire to go into after University, but if you can’t decide you could always do a series of work placements in a few different firms to decide.

The most common route into the legal sector is through University, although there are a few apprenticeships available. These tend to be highly competitive because of the attractive option to ‘earn as you learn’.

Skills & interests needed for Law

You’ll need a strong and varied skillset to be successful in the legal industry. Often you’ll have to think on your feet and you’ll have to be able to structure a strong argument backed up with law and legislation. For this, you’ll need a combination of creative and analytical skills.

The work will often be in teams and with clients so you’ll also need to have excellent people skills and be able to build up a rapport.

Other key skills required for the legal industry are:

- Corporate Law

What work experience do you need for a career in Law

A good source of work experience for a legal career is a mini-pupillage, which allows a week or so of shadowing within the chambers and you can see first-hand what goes on there.

You could also apply to vacation schemes if you are studying at university. If you have chosen not to go to university, you should search for entry-level positions in a law firm (perhaps legal administration, for example) that will put you through training.

The legal industry is very competitive, so to make yourself stand out take on positions of responsibility wherever you can. Also, if you’re in University, make sure that you join your law society to remain up to date on the events taking place within the community.

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Useful resources

All About Law
Legal Futures
The Law Society
Chambers Student