Become a lawyer and enjoy genuine career diversity
Whether it’s the thrill of courtroom litigation, witnessing the development of the very latest technology, or solving political and personal human conflicts, a qualification in law will prime you for a vast range of exhilarating careers. With around 85–90% of law graduates finding gainful employment or going on to further study once they achieve their qualification, legal degrees such as the i-LLB or LLM still demonstrate their worth in every business, and at every level.
Why study law?
Law careers are rewarded better than most. As recently as 2016, an end-of-year Guardian report listed ‘In-house Lawyer’ as the sixth highest paying position of all jobs in the UK, with an average pay before tax of £80,210. However, beyond the obvious pay incentives, studying law and criminology further skills in research, critical analysis, presentation, and writing abilities. It’s because of this graduates in these subjects are highly respected by employers in a multitude of industries.
Growth, security, and the evolution of law
While it’s true the legal industry has experienced a minimal decline in growth in the last 18 months, especially in the US, the demand for ‘modern’ legal services has skyrocketed in line with the latest innovations in technology and business. The business of law is evolving, with grand new opportunities in cyber security (currently tripling market growth rate), international security, healthcare, complex litigation, and intellectual property. Law has always provided a solid career path for the very best legal and business professionals in the world, even Prime Ministers, and that isn’t changing anytime soon.
Key responsibilities: Provide neutral, intermediary assistance to resolve disputes.Ombudsman
Key responsibilities: Oversee legal disputes brought before the court.Judge
Key responsibilities: Investigate deaths from unnatural or unknown causes, including those in police custody.Coroner
Key responsibilities: Ensure company directors adhere to company law and financial regulations.Company Secretary
Skills and abilities:Confidentiality and integrity, combined with strong communication and problem-solving skills. Decisive leadership.
What you’ll be doing: Usually working for organisations or government bodies, the role of Ombudsman includes specialisations such as Education Ombudsman, Financial Ombudsman, and Insurance Ombudsman. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Providing independent, impartial investigations of complaints
- Providing confidential consultations, and recommending appropriate resolution strategies
- Educating constituents regarding rights
- Conducting research and identifying problems or patterns, reporting on findings
- Building effective relationships and partnerships with relevant agencies or bodies
Career progression: With backgrounds in psychology, administration, or law, careers typically begin in litigation, counselling, or investigation – because of the sensitive nature of the work, experience is important. Starting as a Deputy Ombudsman in larger organisations, you may become a Senior or Lead Ombudsman. You may choose a specialisation, such as finance or health.
* https://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/Parliamentary-and-Health-Service-Ombudsman/salaries s
* https://www.indeed.co.uk/cmp/Financial-Ombudsman-Service/salariesSuggested courses:Law & CriminologyCertificate in Governance & Ethics£550Law & CriminologyConflict Resolution£8,500 total fee
Skills and abilities:Impartiality, combined with strong reasoning. Decisiveness, supported by comprehensive legal knowledge and research ability.
What you’ll be doing: Responsibilities vary depending on civil or criminal proceedings, and other factors regarding jurisdiction. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Presiding over cases, and reviewing arguments, evidence, and legal briefs
- Passing verdicts, and deciding sentences for criminal cases
- Guiding and supporting juries, helping them understand duties
- Researching judicial trends, and preparing appropriate judgements for cases
- Work within government guidelines to ensure generally similar sentences for crimes
Career progression: Judges are selected by the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC).This position requires extensive experience as a Solicitor, Barrister, or top-level Legal Executive. Usually, a part-time supervisory period as Recorder or Deputy Judge before applying for full-time appointments. More senior positions such as High Court Judge and Chief Justice are viable.
* https://www.allaboutcareers.com/careers/job-profile/judgeSuggested courses:
Skills and abilities:Excellent communication skills, with the ability to research and analyse figures and language. A logical approach, with strong knowledge of legal matters.
What you’ll be doing: The two different types of lawyers are Solicitors and Barristers, with nine times more Solicitors than Barristers. Solicitors provide legal advice, whilst Barristers argue a case in court. There are many different specialisations, immigration solicitor (immigration attorney) being just one: you may choose to become an entertainment lawyer or civil rights lawyer, or practice employment law or human rights law. Different areas include private practices, government, law centres, industry and commerce, and court services. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Providing legal advice, and services such as litigation, to a range of clients
- Instructing Barristers (advocates) to act on behalf of clients
- Prosecuting individuals, or providing advice to police on prosecutions
- Researching legal records, drafting contracts, and attending negotiations
- Negotiating settlements out of court, or presenting cases to judge and jury
- Maintaining up-to-date legal knowledge
Career progression: With experience, you may become a partner in a private practice, or manage an in-house legal team in the commercial or financial sector. You could apply to become a Queen’s Council (QC) or judge.
Skills and abilities:A logical, methodical approach, with accurate record-keeping. Clear communication skills across different levels of society, combined with tact and sensitivity.
What you’ll be doing: All appointments are made by local authorities, and you must be a qualified solicitor, barrister, or Chartered Fellow.Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Deciding cause of death by breaking down all available information and events
- Consulting other professionals, such as the deceased’s doctor, and dealing tactfully with distressed relatives
- Notifying Registrar of death and any inquest results
- Ordering post-mortem examinations, and explaining difficult legal or medical terms
- Maintaining accurate records, writing reports, making recommendations to prevent future deaths
Career progression: Positions usually start with Deputy or Assistant Deputy Coroner. With experience, you can apply for Senior Coroner, or Chief Coroner. All Coroners must retire by the age of 70.
* https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/coronerSuggested courses:
Skills and abilities:Strong organisational and problem-solving skills. Sound judgement and excellent communication.
What you’ll be doing: Duties of a company secretary (also known as a chartered secretary) are usually legal and financial. Typical day-to-day responsibilities include:
- Advising directors and board members regarding their legal responsibilities
- Dealing with lawyers, auditors, and other professionals
- Sending company information to Companies House or the Stock Exchange
- Preparing annual company reports, administering shares, and paying dividends
- Handling payroll, budgeting, ensuring adherence to health and safety policies
Career progression:With experience, you may become chief executive or managing director of a company, or alternatively perform freelance secretarial practice work for several smaller companies.
* https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/company-secretarySuggested courses:Checkout 1/3Total: £Discount: £Bundle Discount: £Sub Total: £Choose Exam Dates and Additional MaterialsAdd Billing DetailsSelect Payment MethodSelect Payment Method