How to get into law
Are you interested in pursuing a career in law but have no idea where to start? TBI Law, experts in dental negligence claims, has created this guide so that you can begin setting out an effective career route into the law industry without delay…
Considerations when choosing your A-Levels
The first thing to highlight when it comes to A-Levels is that you do not need to take law at this stage of your educational life if you have a desire to pursue a career in the law industry. In fact, universities and potential employers will treat it the same as any other A-Level on your application form and so it should only be chosen if you have a particular interest in the subject.
However, you should choose A-Level subjects which put you in the best possible position to showcase that you can cope with the intellectually challenging subject and profession that is associated with law jobs.
With this in mind, opt for A-Levels which you’re interested in and confident that you’ll be able to achieve high grades from. They should also enable you to work on the skills that you need to be successful in the law industry, such as developing your analytical, communication and research skills — English, history, maths, and science are all great subjects for this.
Also bear in mind that a lot of universities will exclude A-Levels in general studies and critical thinking when tallying up their A-Level entry requirements, so these subjects should always be regarded as extras as opposed to your core list of A-Levels.
During your time studying your A-Levels, be aware too that the following UK universities will require you to take a National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) when applying for their undergraduate law programmes:
University of Bristol
University of Glasgow
King’s College London
University of Nottingham
University of Oxford
SOAS University of London
UCL Faculty of Laws
The LNAT is set up for two reasons — it allows a university to see if a candidate will be able to cope with the demands that they will be subjected to when studying a law degree, as well as help the student themselves to decide if law is indeed a wise career route for them.
Once 18, should I choose a law degree, a non-law degree or an apprenticeship?
After you’ve secured your A-Levels, you will have a few choices available to further your education and take that vital next step to enjoying a career in law.
One option is to study for a law degree. This is specifically designed to educate you on the areas of law that you are most likely to come across once you’re a qualified lawyer and settled into your dream job. You will also be taught useful skills to enhance your knowledge regarding critical thinking, analytical skills, logical reasoning, and problem solving.
However, you shouldn’t think that you must study for a law degree if you want a career in law. An alternative option is to study something that you have a passion for and that you’re confident will result in you achieving high grades, before completing a one-year conversion course. Otherwise known as a GDL — short for graduate diploma in law — this course condenses what’s taught in a three-year law degree into a single year.
On top of the degree options, both paralegal and articled apprenticeships are also becoming popular as routes into law. Deemed advanced level apprenticeships and introduced in 2014, these school leaver schemes often lead to basic law qualifications being achieved through the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEx) and can result in a full-time job being secured as a paralegal.
On-the-job training to bear in mind
Even after you have your A-Levels and university degree or apprenticeship secured, you will not be able to walk straight into a job if you have ambitions to become a solicitor or barrister. This is because on-the-job training will be a requirement.
If you dream of becoming a barrister and have your degree or GDL, the next step will be to complete the Bar professional training course — BPTC for short — and then pursue a one-year pupillage at a barristers’ chambers, where you’ll be known as a pupil barrister. Qualify from this and you’ll become a tenant and be aiming eventually to become a QC — short for Queen’s Counsel.
For a career as a solicitor, you will be required to complete the postgraduate course titled the legal practice course (LPC) after graduating with your degree or GDL. Once you’ve completed the LPC, you’ll go through a two-year training contract at a law firm. You’ll be known as a trainee solicitor at this point, though upon qualifying, you will work to be an associate and then have the end goal of eventually becoming a partner.
Choosing your preferred law job
While we have touched on solicitors and barristers as being two careers in law, there are a variety of jobs available once you have the appropriate qualifications. See which of these appeals most to you…
A solicitor has the responsibility of providing clients with expert legal advice and support, whether that client is an individual, a group, a private company, or a public-sector organisation.
Between £25,000 and £40,000 when a starter, increasing to between £40,000 and £90,000 when experienced and to £100,000 or more once highly experienced. Take note that the salary will vary depending on the type of work carried out and the location of a job.
Indeed currently has 13,757 jobs related to the search ‘Solicitor’ — check them out here.
Legal executives will be trained to the same level as solicitors in England and Wales, but with the key difference being that they will only specialise in one area of law.
Between £15,000 and £28,000 when a starter, increasing to between £35,000 and £55,000 when experienced and up to £100,000 once highly experienced.
Indeed currently has 5,183 jobs related to the search ‘Legal Executive’ — check them out here.
As a barrister — or an advocate if your career route takes you to Scotland — you’ll be tasked with providing specific and specialist legal advice while representing both individuals and organisations in courts and during tribunals.
Between £12,000 and £45,000 when a starter, increasing to between £30,000 and £200,000 when experienced and up to £250,000 once highly experienced. Take note that the salary will vary depending on the type of work carried out, the firm you work for and the location of a job. Employed barristers also generally earn less than those who work in a private practice and can pay their own overheads.
Indeed currently has 509 jobs related to the search ‘Barrister’ — check them out here.
Licensed conveyancers are property lawyers. They will be responsible for dealing with all the paperwork and finances which are required to buy and sell property or land across England and Wales.
Between £16,000 and £20,000 when a starter, increasing to between £25,000 and £40,000 when experienced and up to £60,000 once highly experienced and a partner.
Indeed currently has 736 jobs related to the search ‘Licensed Conveyancer’ — check them out here.
A paralegal’s role will be to conduct research and prepare legal documents. They will also have the responsibility of providing their clients with legal advice.
Between £14,000 and £25,000 when a starter, increasing to between £30,000 and £40,000 when experienced and to £40,000 or more once highly experienced.
Indeed currently has 4,177 jobs related to the search ‘Paralegal’ — check them out here.
*Jobs available logged as of February 27th, 2018.