40 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | APR 2022 WHAT OTHER OPTIONS DO YOU HAVE AFTER GETTING A LAW DEGREE? In the past, if an individual was completing a qualifying law degree, it signified that they were intending to go on and sit professional examinations to be a solicitor or barrister. This was the prerequisite qualification in order to do so. This is no longer necessarily the case today for several reasons. Firstly, the cost of enrolment onto the post graduate professional exams has been increasing over a period of twenty years and, consequently, is out of the range of affordability for most. Secondly, the lack of training contracts – a prerequisite to qualifying as a solicitor – due to so many graduates flooding the sector. For similar reasons, the lack of pupillages available for those wanting to qualify and practise at the Bar. Thirdly, the introduction of the new SQE (Solicitors’ Qualifying Exam). Fourthly, the virtual eradication of legal aid in 2013, which has resulted in limited access to justice at a reasonable cost for consumers. Below, we will look at each element in detail. The Numbers of Law Graduates, the Cost of Qualification and the SQE In order to accommodate the increasing number of graduates entering the sector, the SRA permitted a number of institutions to apply for a licence to deliver the LPC (then referred to as the Solicitors’ Final Examinations). In 1980 there were four running the course, but in 2010 the number offering the LPC had increased to 42. In an effort to make this work economically, institutions started to accept applications from graduates who perhaps should not It is often assumed that students pursuing a law degree are preparing to become solicitors or barristers. Today, however, there are barriers to this traditional career progression – and several other paths available. Amanda Hamilton, CEO of the National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP), discusses some of these obstacles and the potential alternative offered by a career as a paralegal. What Other Options Do You Have After Getting a LawDegree? Amanda Hamilton Chief Executive National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP) Brixton Rd, Vassal, London SW9 6DE Tel: +44 0207-112-8034 Twitter: @NALP_UK Facebook: www.facebook.com/ NationalAssocationsofLicensedParalegals/ LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/amandahamilton-llb-hons-840a6a16/ www.nationalparalegals.co.uk Amanda Hamilton is Chief Executive of the National Association of Licenced Paralegals (NALP), a non-profit membership body and the only paralegal body that is recognised as an awarding organisation by Ofqual (the regulator of qualifications in England). Through its Centres around the country, accredited and recognised professional paralegal qualifications are offered for those looking for a career as a paralegal professional.