How Do I Get a Career in Law?
People pursue a career in law for all kinds of reasons, as well as aspiring to different end goals.
From wanting to uphold court as a judge to helping people with medical negligence claims, there are all kinds of jobs within the sector. Whatever your dream job is, you’ll be helping so many people from so many walks of life.
Of course, you’ll need a plan of action to get there. Keep reading to find out how to attain a career in law.
The earlier you start planning, the better your chances. GCSEs will be the foundations of everything and will allow you to progress and climb higher on the law ladder. Achieving good grades at GCSE level will show your determination and work ethic, making you more likely to benefit when deciding which next path to go down: A-Levels or an apprenticeship scheme.
With your GCSEs done, you can either progress with you’re A-Levels or seek an apprenticeship programme. This can be a tough decision to make once you’ve received your results – and if you’ve followed our first stage and gained incredible grades, your doors are wide open with opportunity.
Going for A-Levels
If you opt for A-Levels, you’ll need to continue to aim for the top grades. Usually those who study A-Levels progress onto university to advance themselves for their career in law.If you choose this route, there are some top tips that you should know. Some universities prefer that you study traditional subjects at A-Level such as history, languages or literature – studying law at this level is not always a requirement for doing this subject at university but it might put you in a better position than other applicants as you’re already familiar with the subject – so make sure that you meet the university’s requirements.
Going for an Intermediate Apprenticeship
If you don’t want to pursue A-Levels, you can go for an apprenticeship. This route to a career in law is seemingly becoming more popular among young people. Although there are specific requirements for you to take this path, anyone looking to do an intermediate apprenticeship must have the minimum of five GCSEs (although more may be required depending on the firm) that are graded from A*-C or anything equivalent. The benefit of apprenticeships in this field is that students are able to work in the real environment with qualified professionals, whether this is assisting on cases in administration or meeting with different clients. Intermediate Apprenticeships usually run for two years and will help develop the skills of those who gain their place in the office.
Upon finishing you’re A-Levels, there are a few different routes you can go down. These include university, a paralegal apprenticeship or a solicitor apprenticeship. There is no right option, picking one of the three should be down to the personal preference of the budding law learner.
Heading to university
At university, you can start to narrow down on your specific field of interest. Depending on the preference of the student, to have a career in law, you can either study a law degree or non-law degree – although those who decide to study a non-law degree will face the hurdle of studying the seven foundations of legal practices, a GDL, so when it’s combined with a non-law degree, it’s equivalent to a law degree.
Exploring a Paralegal Apprenticeship
You aren’t limited to just university after your A-Levels. After completing your A-Levels, this 23-30-month course could be the perfect route for you. Although this is a brilliant opportunity as it is, it can then lead you onto training to become a Chartered Legal Executive. To participate in this type of scheme, usually you are required to have the minimum of five GCSEs grading A*-C and three A-Levels that are graded C or above – or the equivalent. You will be able to learn law, legal practice, legal skills, commercial skills and professional conduct by entering this type of apprenticeship. It is also worth knowing that you can do a paralegal apprenticeship after your intermediate apprenticeship if you decide not to go down the A-Level route after completing your GCSE studies.
Consider a Solicitor Apprenticeship
If you’re itching to get into the working world, this one is for you. A solicitor apprenticeship is a paid six-year course which will enable you to gain on the job training which you will later receive a qualification to become a solicitor and at the end of the fourth year, you will receive a law degree. To be in a chance of winning a place on this sort of scheme, you usually need the minimum of five GCSEs graded A*-C and three A-Levels (graded C or above). Work experience always plays in favour with candidates that apply for this type of apprenticeship. Once this apprenticeship has ended, you are a qualified solicitor, legal executive and paralegal.
Let’s look at the academic route now. Once you’ve completed your law degree (or equivalent with GDL), there are three different routes that you can go down depending on what position you want to have: Barrister, Solicitor or Legal Executive.
Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC)
This one of a number of routes to becoming a barrister. Although, once you have completed this course, you can proceed to become either a solicitor or a legal executive. To become a barrister, you will then need to complete a ‘pupillage’ which is a one-year apprenticeship before you qualify as a barrister. You will be working with a pupil supervisor. To become a solicitor, after completing your BPTC you will need a training contract, which is basically a two-year paid employment contract with a law firm before gaining your qualification as a solicitor. For those wanting to become a legal executive, you are required to carry out three years of qualifying employment.
Legal Practice Course (LPC)
The vocational stage for a solicitor is to complete an LPC. This will allow you to become a legal executive, although once you’ve finished your LPC, you will need to carry out three years of qualifying employment.
CILEx Fast Track (for those who already have a degree!)
Did you attain a law degree in the last seven years? If so, CILEx Fast Track offers a graduate diploma as opposed to a Level 3 or 6. This usually takes around nine months to do at a part-time rate. Once you’ve finished this, you will then need to complete three years of qualifying employment and you will be qualified as a chartered legal executive lawyer.
It’s over to you to decide. Which path will you be travelling down to become one of the top lawyers in the country? Remember that all of your grades count – so make the most of your education and you will have a career in law in no time.