Studying Law will have prepared you for a professional career in Law, plus in the wider public, business and commercial sectors. You will have many skills, including the key skills required for a career in law;

  • drafting
  • research
  • advocacy
  • written and verbal communication
  • attention to detail
  • problem solving
  • interviewing
  • negotiation

Many students choose Law with the intention of qualifying as a Solicitor, Barrister, or Legal Executive, but you will also gain skills valued by many employers in a variety of fields.  

Qualifying to practice Law with a Law degree

Solicitor - Students who complete a qualifying Law degree can progress to the vocational training required to qualify as a solicitor: Legal Practice Course (LPC) followed by a period of recognised training, most commonly known as a training contract. The period of recognised training is a paid position, within a law firm, where you practise different types of law under the supervision of a qualified Solicitor.  

Barrister - The vocational training to become a Barrister consists of the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and a year of Pupillage - practical training with an experienced Barrister in Chambers. 

Chartered Legal Executive - Legal Executives carry out similar work to a Solicitor. Instead of completing the LPC, their training is carried out alongside work. There is a Graduate Fast Track option for students with a law degree

NB: The Solicitors' Regulation Authority has announced that from Autumn 2021 the new Solicitors Qualifying Examination will be in place.  Current law students will still be able to qualify via the LPC route during a transitional period, but new law students from this date will qualify via the new route.

Qualifying to practice Law with a non-Law degree

Non-Law graduates must first complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) before progressing onto the vocational stages of training and qualification.

Work Experience

Work experience, for Law and non-Law graduates, is particularly important in the legal sector; employers want to see you have put your knowledge into practice and gained an insight into the day-today work of a lawyer. Work shadowing in a firm or formal vacation schemes are popular options. You should also consider marshalling or a mini-pupillage, if you intend to train as a barrister. Voluntary work is another great way to develop your skills. Pro-bono work is very valuable; you can do this through the University's Law Clinic or with the Citizen's Advice Bureau.

Other useful activities to get involved with include being an active member of the university Law Society, attending networking events and applying for the Career Mentoring scheme.

Choosing a law firm or chambers

It is important to think about the type of law you would like to practice and the environment in which you would like to work. Lawyers generally choose to practice within one of these two broad areas:

  • Personal services - including conveyancing, divorce and family matters, human rights, wills, criminal, medical negligence and personal injury
  • Commercial work - including mergers and acquisitions, business transactions and disputes, employment, intellectual property and insolvency

Environments in which you could work as a lawyer include:

  • Private practice - including large Magic Circle firms, high street firms and sole practitioners
  • In-house - based in the legal team of a large company or organisation
  • Local Government - advising local authorities on the services they provide to the public
  • Crown Prosecution Service - prosecuting cases in the criminal justice system
  • Government Legal Service - advising ministers and civil servants

Use the sources in Suggested Links to research firms suitable for you, and to help you find a training contract, pupillage, vacation scheme or mini pupillage. 

What else do Law graduates do?

The skills gained during a Law degree are highly valued and transferable. Many graduate jobs are open to graduates from any discipline so there are wide ranging options available. Common roles and sectors the Law graduates consider include:

  • Human Resources
  • Welfare and Benefits Advice
  • Governance and Compliance
  • Banking and Finance
  • Civil Service
  • Graduate Management Schemes
  • Criminal Justice

For further help and advice planning your future take a look at the Choosing Your Career section.


Last modified: 
Friday, November 16, 2018 - 13:54