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How to establish a career in law

2012-09-11   Views:1

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Careers in law range from being a judge, a barrister or a solicitor, to a court clerk or legal secretary. The career that suits you depends on whether you are prepared to invest a substantial amount of time and money in becoming a qualified solicitor

How to establish a career in law

Careers in law range from being a judge, a barrister or a solicitor, to a court clerk or legal secretary. The career that suits you depends on whether you are prepared to invest a substantial amount of time and money in becoming a qualified solicitor, whether you want to work in an office or court environment, whether the role you seek is more administrative, what skills and strengths you have and what qualifications you can realistically achieve.

Skill level:Moderately Challenging

Instructions

Obtaining suitable qualifications

1 Research which job you want to do and find out what qualifications you need. To establish a career in law you need law qualifications as well as qualifications in English and Maths. In the UK law can be studied at CGSE, AS level, A level and HND level. City and Guilds offer an Introduction to Legal Studies course which can then be studied at level two and level three. Have a look at the City and Guilds website for details of institutions in your area which offer the course. Have a look at the CILEx website for more information on their level two, three (A level equivalent) and level six certificates (honours degree level) and diplomas in legal studies, and law and practice (among others).

2 Find out how and where you can obtain a law degree. A law degree is obtained from a university or college, and details of providers can be found on the UCAS website. Find out what is required to apply for a law degree. A law degree in the UK is Law LLB (Hons); LLB means Bachelor (or undergraduate) of Law, and Honours means the highest academic standard has been reached. The requirements to study law vary for each institution but you will usually need at least five GCSEs at grade A to C including English language and Mathematics, and three A levels at grade B or above (or the equivalent).

3 Look for job vacancies in a legal environment. You can start as a paralegal and study to obtain the qualifications necessary to become a legal executive. A legal executive is similar to a solicitor with a few exceptions, for example a solicitor is able to appear in more courts than a legal executive: more information is available on the CILEx website. If you want to be a fully qualified solicitor, the route you take depends on your qualifications (whether or not you have a law degree) and whether you want to study full time or part time. Both solicitors and barristers have to obtain a training contract before they are fully qualified to practice. The Law Society website will tell you more.

4 Consider other careers in a legal environment. You could consider mediation, court reporter, court clerk, hearing officer, legal secretary, title examiner and searcher, an usher, a researcher at The Law Commission, a law costs draftsman, legal cashier. Consider working for the Crown Prosecution Service or in a government legal department, a legal centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, the Law Society or Solicitors Regulation Authority.

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