For those eager for an exciting life, a career in law is a perfect profession. You never have a dull moment and at the end of day, you’ll go home with a sense of accomplishment, knowing you have contributed something to the society around you.
Specialists in financial claims, TRUE Solicitors LLP look at the different career paths that one can take to land an occupation in the courtroom. Most people think it’s not what you know, it’s who you know – but in law, this isn’t the case. If you’re passionate, well driven and thrive on making a difference, you will achieve your goal of working in law.
Beginning with GCSEs
A career in law doesn’t come without the dedication from that you will need to put into it, starting from the very beginning. 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.
After GCSEs, what’s next?
The next step, is either a progression through A-Levels or an intermediate Apprenticeship. 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.
A-Levels are one of following steps after GCSEs and are a consists a year course that you need achieve top grades in. 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.
Aimed specifically for school leavers after their GCSEs, apprenticeships are for those who have not studied their A-levels. 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.
Higher education after A-Levels
Once you’ve completed A-levels and have obtained great results, you can choose 3 different routes to take. You can choose from 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.
At university, you would be offered a range of options, and narrow down the course that you want to do. 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.
Paralegal Apprenticeships take 23 – 30 months and along with it offering a brilliant opportunity to develop you career, it can also 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.
A solicitor apprenticeship is suited for those who want to dive straight into the working world. 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
Completed University and earned a GDL?
After you’ve completed your law degree (or equivalent with GDL), you can go down 3 different routes depending on position that you want to have: Barrister, Solicitor or Legal Executive.
Standing for Bar Professional Training Course, which directs you to become 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.
You could also choose to move on to a Legal Practice Course, which is a vocational stage of becoming a solicitor. 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
CILEx Fast Track offer those who have completed their law degree In the past 7 years 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.
So what would you 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.