TBI Law, experts in medical negligence claims , have created this guide so that you can begin setting out an effective career route into the law industry without any delay – Perfect if you are interested in pursuing a career in law but have no idea where to start!

Options when picking you’re A-Levels

Universities and potential employers will treat whichever subject you pick 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. This is a common misconception as many believe that when it comes to A-Levels that Law Is a requirement to study. This is not true, therefore you should chose subjects that you are confident that you will achieve high results in. You should pick subjects which showcase that you can cope with the intellectually challenging subject and profession that is associated with law jobs.

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. The subjects that you choose should also enable you to work on the skills that you need to be successful in the law industry. This includes developing your analytical, communication and research skills — English, history, maths, and science are all great subjects for this.

Some UK universities will require you to take a National Admissions Test for Law (LNAT) when applying for their undergraduate law programmes, this includes:

  • University of Bristol
  • Durham University
  • University of Glasgow
  • King’s College London
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oxford
  • SOAS University of London
  • UCL Faculty of Laws

This helps the student themselves to decide if law is indeed the correct career route for them and allows a university to see if a candidate will be able to cope with the demands that they will be expected to keep up with when studying a law degree.

Once 18, which would be the best route to take?

One option is to study for a law degree after you’ve secured your A-Levels. You will be taught useful skills to enhance your knowledge regarding critical thinking, analytical skills, logical reasoning, and problem solving. This is designed to educate you on the areas of law that you are most likely to come across once you’re a qualified layer.

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. You mustn’t think that studying a degree is the only option available.

An alternative option to both of the above is apprenticeships. Both paralegal and articled apprenticeships are also becoming popular as routes into law. 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. They are more commonly known as “Advanced apprenticeships”.

Would on the job training be a requirement?

You will not be able to walk straight into a job if you have ambitions to become a solicitor or barrister even after you have your A-Levels and university degree or apprenticeship secured, as on-the-job training will be a requirement.

You will be required to complete the postgraduate course titled the legal practice course (LPC) after graduating with your degree or GDL for a career as a solicitor. Upon completion of an LPC, you’ll be known as a trainee solicitor at this point, and you’ll go through a two-year training contract at a law firm. Upon qualifying however, you will work to be an associate and then have the end goal of eventually becoming a partner.

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. If you qualify from this, you’ll become a tenant and be aiming eventually to become a QC (Queen’s Counsel).

What jobs in the Law sector are there?

See which of these appeals most to you from the list of Law careers as seen below. We have touched on solicitors and barristers as being two careers in law, however there are a variety of jobs available once you have the appropriate qualifications.

Solicitor: 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.

Expected salary: 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.

Legal Executive: 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.

Expected salary: 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.

Barrister: 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.

Expected salary: 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.

Licensed Conveyancer: 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.

Expected salary: 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.

Paralegal: 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.

Expected salary: 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.

Legal Apprenticeships

The legal sector is changing rapidly and the need for rigorous, relevant and business-focused legal education and training has never been greater. ULaw delivers apprenticeships at all levels. From entry level roles in legal and business services to qualified lawyer status.

Apprenticeships offer employers and individuals a range of tailored options, all of which develop individuals’ wider business skills as well as their legal and job-specific knowledge.

It is now possible for talented future lawyers to take an apprenticeship route all the way from leaving school to qualification as a solicitor, without incurring any student debt. 

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