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law

Apprenticeships, Degree Apprenticeships and Work Experience

Law


When you think about law as a career, it may conjure up images of intense television drama scenes of court room conflicts between angry white-wigged barristers and stern judges banging their gavels. However, in reality law is a hugely varied sector that profoundly impacts nearly every aspect of daily life.

Industry Summary

The law industry isn’t just about barristers and solicitors as stereotype depicts. There’s also a huge variety of other professions under the law umbrella – from legal secretaries, paralegals, lecturers and court clerks, or even legal compliance professionals, HR officers and those involved in International Developments, there really are a countless number of opportunities to suit anybody.

Though getting into a law career may be pretty tough –it is an incredibly popular sector and so there can be a huge amount of competition, this is for a good reason. The law industry is incredibly stimulating; not only is constantly evolving in response to our modern lifestyle, but it’s extremely complex and potentially highly lucrative.

Whether you’re interested in working for a flashy corporate firm in a high-rise in the City, or a smaller local firm helping settle people settle their estates, there are plenty of choices out there in the law industry. It’s not all about being stuck behind a desk either, you could find yourself at court, people’s homes or even visiting clients overseas.

To become a solicitor in England and Wales you have to complete a Legal Practice Course (LPC), followed by a training contract with a law firm. To become a barrister, you must undertake the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), followed by a one-year training period called a pupillage. Some legal careers do not always require further study.

 

What options can I take for a career in law?

 

Work Experience

Work experience is a vital part of pursuing a career in law. Practical experience in the law industry will help you decide what is the correct path for you, as well as potentially opening doors and providing an essential boost to your CV. Some form of work experience is available at all levels, whether you’re still taking your GCSE’s and interested in a few hours a week in a local firm, or you’re looking for a placement year as part of your degree course. Work experience in business administration is also useful as this is much less competitive to access and provides much of the same skills as needed for a law career.

Unsure about what a work placement could involve? You should’ve asked!

 

Apprenticeships

Apprenticeships in the law industry are targeted at a range of different qualification levels, from the equivalent of A-Levels, all the way up to a master’s degree equivalent. There are three broad levels: legal administration and support, paralegal or solicitor, but as well as this you could also choose to undertake a specialist pathway to qualify as a chartered legal executive. Each can be taken as a stand-alone apprenticeship or can be linked in order to progress between roles.

No matter which path you choose, an apprenticeship in the law industry will give you hands-on experience from the first day to really kick start your career. You’ll spend most of your time in the workplace alongside experience colleagues and the rest of your time studying towards your qualification, all while being paid a salary. Quite a few legal firms are also willing to sponsor apprentices all the way from a Level 3 qualification, all the way through to becoming a full-blown solicitor – this is a great opportunity in such a competitive industry. Here are some law apprenticeships to consider:

  • Level 3 – Paralegal
  • Level 4 – Paraplanner
  • Level 6 – Chartered legal executive
  • Level 7 – Solicitor

Want to know what apprenticeships are all about? We have you covered!

 

University

Law courses at university range from LLB degrees that provide the skills and knowledge required to practice in law, to BA/BSc degrees that focus on law as an academic subject. It is possible to study law alongside other subjects, such as law, business or criminology, to specialise your studies if you have a particular interest or career in mind. You should consider whether you wish to pursue an LLB degree as this will exempt you from the need to complete a Gradate Diploma in Law which non-law graduates need to complete to practice law as a career.

No matter if you choose to pursue an LLB degree or not, your studies will give you all the theoretical knowledge of the law industry and beyond which you’ll be able to apply to your career in the future. It is advisable to look for a course that involves a placement year. Work experience is often required by employers so the more you’re able to get, the more opportunities you may find are opened to you. Here are some possible law degrees for you to consider.

  • Law LLB (Hons)
  • Business Law LLB (Hons)
  • Criminology with Law BA (Hons)
  • Law, Philosophy and Ethics BA (Hons)
  • Business and Law BA (Hons)
  • Criminology and Criminal Justine BA (Hons)
  • Business Management with Law BSc (Hons)

Want to find out what University could offer you? We have your back!

 

Graduate Jobs

A degree in law creates many opportunities for you after university, even beyond the legal profession. However, if you’re interested in pursuing practising law as a graduate you’ll be required to go onto further study and vocational training. To become a solicitor in England and Wales you have to complete a Legal Practice Course (LPC), followed by a training contract with a law firm. To become a barrister, you must undertake the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), followed by a one-year training period called a pupillage.

Some employers offer graduate schemes which pay for their recruits to undergo this training whilst paying them a salary – this is a great opportunity if you wish to pursue either of these roles. However, some legal careers do not always require further study. For example, to become a paralegal you are able to pursue this with a law degree or equivalent but may need to undergo further training as required by your employer.

Want to know what graduate jobs are all about? We can help!

 

Other routes

Unfortunately, to work in most roles in the law industry a specific legal qualification is often necessary. It may be possible to move from your current career path with enough experience, but most employers require some basic qualifications in order to employ a candidate due to legal obligations and the many, many laws that govern the industry.

Your dream law career is out there – start searching!

Career Progression, Discover Your Future

Senior police officers

Work Description

Senior police officers plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the resources and activities of a specific geographical or functional area of generalised or specialised police work. Senior officers of the British Transport Police direct the specialised police service for the railway network across Britain.

Qualification

Promotion to the rank of inspector can be by qualifying examination. There are no qualifying examinations to ranks above inspector; promotion is by selection only. There are accelerated promotion schemes available. All police forces have age restrictions and medical requirements.

Job Tasks

liaises with senior officers to determine staff, financial and other short- and long-term needs; plans, directs and co-ordinates general policing for an area or functional unit; directs and monitors the work of subordinate officers; establishes contacts and sources of information concerning crimes planned or committed; directs and co-ordinates the operation of record keeping systems and the preparation of reports.

Related Jobs

Commander Commissioner Constable, chief, assistant Constable, chief, deputy Constable, chief Inspector, chief Inspector, detective Inspector, divisional Inspector, police Inspector Officer, CID Sub-inspector Superintendent, chief Superintendent 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Senior officers in fire, ambulance, prison and related services

Work Description

Fire officers plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the activities and resources of a specific physical or functional area of a statutory or private fire brigade/service and the resources necessary for the protection of property at fires within a salvage corps area. Ambulance officers plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the resources necessary for the provision of ambulance services. Prison officers (principal officer and above) plan, organise, direct, and co-ordinate the activities and resources necessary for the running of a prison, remand or detention centre. Customs officers plan and direct the work of customs, excise and immigration staff in the monitoring and inspection of goods and persons crossing national borders.

Qualification

The position of senior fire officer is achieved by internal promotion. Entry to senior positions within the prison service and revenue and customs is either by internal promotion or by open competition; both organisations operate accelerated promotion schemes available to internal and external applicants. Entry to the prison service is subject to age restrictions, and both the prison service and revenue and customs impose nationality conditions. Entry to senior positions within the ambulance service is largely by internal promotion from supervisory roles.

Job Tasks

liaises with other senior officials and/or government departments to determine staffing, financial and other short- and long-term needs; prepares reports for insurance companies, the Home Office, Scottish Home and Health Department, and other bodies as necessary; advises on the recruitment, training and monitoring of staff; fire officers plan, direct and co-ordinate an operational plan for one or more fire stations, attend fires and other emergencies to minimise danger to property and people, arrange for the salvaging of goods, immediate temporary repairs and security measures for fire damaged premises as necessary; ambulance officers plan, organise, direct and co-ordinate the activities of ambulance personnel and control room assistants, for the provision of ambulance services for emergency and non-emergency cases; prison officers interview prisoners on arrival and discharge/departure, receive reports on disciplinary problems and decide on appropriate action, make periodic checks on internal and external security, and provide care and support to prisoners in custody; revenue and customs, excise and immigration officers advise on the interpretation of regulations concerning taxes, duties and immigration requirements and enforce these regulations through monitoring of premises, examining goods entering the country to ensure correct duty is paid and establishing that passengers have the necessary authorisation for crossing national borders.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Barristers and judges

Work Description

Job holders in this unit group prepare and conduct court cases on behalf of clients, preside over judicial proceedings, and pronounce judgements within a variety of court settings and tribunals.

Qualification

Entry to training requires a qualifying law degree or postgraduate diploma. Entrants then undertake a one year Bar Vocational Course followed by pupillage in one of the Inns of Court. The system for training of advocates in Scotland requires a postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice followed by two years’ training as a solicitor. The position of judge is obtained by appointment of those who have substantial post-qualifying experience in legal practice.

Job Tasks

becomes acquainted with the facts of a case through reading statements, law reports, and consulting with clients or other professionals; advises client on the basis of legal knowledge, research and past precedent as to whether to proceed with legal action; drafts pleadings and questions in preparation for court cases, appears in court to present evidence to the judge and jury, cross examines witnesses and sums up why the court should decide in their client’s favour; hears, reads and evaluates evidence, and instructs or advises the jury on points of law or procedure; conducts trials according to rules of procedure, announces the verdict and passes sentence and/or awards costs and damages.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Solicitors

Work Description

Solicitors advise and act on behalf of individuals, organisations, businesses and government departments in legal matters.

Qualification

Entry to training usually requires a qualifying law degree or postgraduate diploma. Graduates in subjects other than law must first take a one-year conversion course. All entrants undertake a one year legal practice course, followed by a two-year training contract.

Job Tasks

draws up contracts, leases, wills and other legal documents; undertakes legal business on behalf of client in areas of business law, criminal law, probate, conveyancing and litigation, and acts as trustee or executor if required; instructs counsel in higher and lower courts and pleads cases in lower courts as appropriate; scrutinises statements, reports and legal documents relevant to the case being undertaken and prepares papers for court; represents clients in court.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Legal professionals n.e.c.

Work Description

Job holders in this unit group perform a variety of other professional legal occupations not elsewhere classified in MINOR GROUP 241: Legal Professionals.

Qualification

Entry to training usually requires a qualifying law degree or postgraduate diploma. Entrants then undertake a further year of academic training and then complete up to four years of assessed supervised experience in legal practice. Entrants may also require up to five years post qualifying experience in legal practice.

Job Tasks

co-ordinates the activities of magistrates courts and advises magistrates on law and legal procedure; provides legal advice to individuals within Citizens Advice, Law Centres and other such establishments; drafts and negotiates contracts on behalf of employers; advises employers, local and national government and other organisations on aspects of law and legislative implications of decisions made; represents public and private organisations in court as necessary.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Probation officers

Work Description

Probation officers work to rehabilitate offenders. They supervise, counsel and help them before trial, during any prison or community sentence and on release from prison.

Qualification

Candidates are recruited with a variety of academic qualifications or with relevant experience. In England and Wales all candidates must complete a two-year Diploma in Probation studies. There is a minimum age limit of 20 years to undertake training. In Scotland and Northern Ireland, entry requirements are the same as for social workers. Background checks including a CRB check are required.

Job Tasks

produces pre-sentence reports to the court about an individual’s crime, their personal circumstances, the suitability of sentencing, the likelihood of re-offending and the future risk to the public; enforces court orders and serves the public by providing a wide range of supervision programmes for those in receipt of a community sentence; draws up probation plans with offenders and helps them follow it, advises them on any work and helps them with any family or social problems; works with prisoners in giving advice on problems such as drug and alcohol abuse, addressing training needs, finding work and getting accommodation; keeps accurate and comprehensive records.

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Inspector Officer, justice, youth Officer, probation, chief Officer, probation Officer, service, community 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

NCOs and other ranks

Work Description

Those holding jobs in this unit group are full-time members of the armed forces of the UK, the Commonwealth and other foreign countries and perform military duties for which there is no civilian equivalent.

Qualification

For most positions entry does not depend upon academic qualifications. Entrants generally have to pass a selection interview and physical and medical examinations. Entry to certain trades requires GCSEs/S grades or equivalent qualifications.

Job Tasks

receives and responds to commands from senior officers; monitors, operates, services and repairs military equipment; takes part in military operations in situations of conflict and provides aid if required in emergency situations such as civil disorder, natural disasters and major accidents; engages in peacekeeping operations and enforces ceasefire agreements; stands watch and guards military establishments and other buildings; trains and exercises using various military equipment and tactics; undertakes specialist activities such as operating communications equipment, driving military vehicles; patrols areas of possible military activity; leads and trains new recruits and lower ranks, looks after their discipline and welfare.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Police officers (sergeant and below)

Work Description

Police officers (Sergeant and below) co-ordinate and undertake the investigation of crimes, patrol public areas, arrest offenders and suspects and enforce law and order. Officers of the British Transport Police operate within the specialised police service for the railway network across Britain.

Qualification

There are no academic requirements for entry to the civilian (Home Office) police although eligibility criteria vary across individual police forces. Entrants must sit an entry test and pass a medical examination. All police officers undergo a two year probationary training period. Residency, nationality and age restrictions apply, and background security checks are carried out in respect of entrants.

Job Tasks

receives instructions from senior officers and patrols an assigned area on foot, horseback, motorcycle, motor car or boat to check security and enforce regulations; directs and controls traffic or crowds at demonstrations and large public events; investigates complaints, crimes, accidents, any suspicious activities or other incidents; interviews suspects, takes statements from witnesses and stops, searches and/or arrests suspects; attends accidents; prepares briefs or reports for senior officers; works on station reception desk and or in communications room; gives evidence in court cases.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Prison service officers (below principal officer)

Work Description

Prison service officers (below Principal Officer) direct, co-ordinate and participate in guarding inmates and maintaining discipline in prisons and other detention centres.

Qualification

There are no formal academic requirements for entry but candidates must pass a pre-entry test and full medical examination. Basic training is followed by a 12 month probationary period during which further on-the-job training is provided. Background checks are required for entrants, and there are generally nationality restrictions and a lower age limit of 18 years.

Job Tasks

escorts prisoners to and from cells and supervises them during meals, recreation and visiting periods; watches for any infringements of regulations and searches prisoners and cells for weapons, drugs and other contraband items; guards entrances and perimeter walls; investigates disturbances or any other unusual occurrences; escorts prisoners transferred from one institution to another; runs prisoner rehabilitation and support programmes; provides care and support to prisoners in custody including prevention of self harm; trains and supervises prison staff; reports on prisoners’ conduct as necessary.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Police community support officers

Work Description

Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) support the local police force by patrolling the streets to provide a visible and reassuring presence and to tackle a range of crime and disorder problems. PCSOs are also attached to the British Transport Police who operate the specialised police service for the railway network across Britain.

Qualification

There are no formal educational requirements although entrants must pass written tests and undergo a medical check including an eyesight test. Nationality restrictions apply and background security checks will be made.

Job Tasks

patrols a geographic area to monitor and deter criminal and anti-social activity and disorderly conduct; assists police officers at crime scenes and major events; carries out house-to-house enquiries; provides crime prevention advice and helps to support victims of crime; may detain someone pending the arrival of a police officer; may direct traffic and arrange for vehicles to be removed.

Related Jobs

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Legal associate professionals

Work Description

Legal associate professionals provide administrative support for legal professionals, and investigate and make recommendations on legal matters that do not fall within the province of a normal court of law.

Qualification

Entrants usually possess GCSEs/S grades and A levels/H grades in appropriate subject areas. Off- and on-the-job training is available. Membership of professional institutions will be required for some posts. Candidates must pass professional examinations and complete up to five years of practical experience.

Job Tasks

runs chambers on behalf of principals, develops the practice, manages the flow of work, decides which cases to accept, arranges appropriate fees and prepares financial records; collates information, drafts briefs and other documents; interviews and advises clients, undertakes preparatory work for court cases; attends court to assist barristers and solicitors in the presentation of a case; assists in all aspects of property conveyancing and probate and common law practice.

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Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

Legal secretaries

Work Description

Legal secretaries file and maintain legal and other records, transcribe notes and dictation into typewritten form and perform other routine clerical tasks in legal practices.

Qualification

There are no formal academic requirements, although employers may expect candidate to possess a legal secretarial qualification. Entrants to professional legal courses typically require GCSEs/ S grades or equivalent qualifications. NVQs/SVQs in Administration are available at Levels 2, 3 and 4.

Job Tasks

types letters and legal documents such as wills and contracts; maintains court and clients’ records, organises diaries and arranges appointments; answers enquiries and directs clients to appropriate experts; attends meetings and keeps records of proceedings; delivers and collects documents; sorts and files correspondence and carries out general clerical work.

Related Jobs

Administrator, legal Clerk, aid, legal Clerk, legal Clerk, probate Secretary, conveyancing Secretary, legal Secretary, litigation Secretary 

Estimated Pay

Information on weekly pay (average, median and decile) is taken from a combination of two sources: the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE); and the Labour Force Survey (LFS) (both conducted by the Office for National Statistics (ONS)). ASHE is widely regarded as the most reliable source of information on Pay and Hours, however it does not include information on pay by qualification as well as some other characteristics (such as self-employment).

Unemployment Data

The level and rate of UK unemployment for this career path measured by the Labour Force Survey (LFS) as a percentage, using the International Labour Organisation's definition of unemployment.

Projected Employment Levels

Estimated Hours

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