Avenues to a Career in Law
We all know how this season will be extremely important to second and final year Law students. Final years will be finishing off their applications for training contracts around this time, whilst second years will begin their own research into firms that they foresee working for, figuring out what to do once they graduate. The most popular route is to become a solicitor, with the most well-known route being securing a training contract after graduation. With the immense amount of competition, considering law graduates and non-law gradates, realistically not everyone will be able to secure a training contract. It is literally impossible. Nevertheless, there are still various avenues one can take to have a fulfilling and rewarding legal career. This article aims to raise awareness about the number of paths to a career law outside of a training contract.
Chartered Legal Executive
A chartered legal executive (CLE) is a lawyer who has qualified in a specialised area in law. This qualification gives the opportunity to become a partner in a firm as well as to go in to work in various legal departments. To become a CLE law graduates can take a fast track approach, instead of taking the 2 stage process required for non-law graduates. Law graduates will complete a Level 6 Diploma which is split up into professional skills and practice units. The course takes 9-15 months for a fee of £3,058. This is very appealing considering that the fees for the Legal Practice Course (LPC), to be completed prior to a training contract, are now at an astonishing £15,000. The CILEx course is very flexible and gives the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time. So, while studying, you can also gain work experience to put forward towards your future. Although the Graduate Fast-Track Diploma entails the student being responsible for structuring and managing their own vocational learning, the CILEx Law School provides fantastic guidance, assisting every student with a tutor, who is able to give regular feedback on assignments and is simply an email away. The CLE qualification is recognised by employers so there is no need fear that the LPC is the only recognised route to progress in a fulfilling legal career. To find out more information, make sure to click here.
Barbri International is a fairly modern approach to securing an amazing legal career. It gives the opportunity to qualify as a US attorney, with a law degree obtained across the pond. Choosing Barbri gives you the capability and expertise to work with international clients and enables graduates to deal with cross border transactions. Beyond this, Barbri graduates can be eligible to work in specialised areas such as international human rights, corporate in-house counsel and international businesses. The course can take just 6 months if done full time and 10 months if completed part time. After this, there is the option to take a one year conversion course in the UK, in which you will be qualified as solicitor in the UK too. The Barbri International course works through an online study programme in which the best US Law professors provide lecturers. Homework, training and study help will also be situated on the online study platform. Students will have the option to choose between a distance learning course or a classroom lecture course. The qualification remains the same however the students are able to choose the option which works for them the best. A classroom course would provide more structure and support while a long distance course is more flexible. Classroom locations are situated in London, Dublin and Dubai. The fee for the Barbri International qualification is around £5,000-£6,000. To find out more information, click here.
Legal Advice Services
As we all know, the need for lawyers and legal representation will never diminish in the world. However, as this need arises simultaneously, the access to sound legal assistance decreases. With massive cuts to legal aid over the recent years, many unqualified individuals are left to defend their own cases, making it difficult to be served true justice when they have no knowledge of the law and its practice. Organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and the Child Law Advice and Law Centres (CLAS) across the country are alternative approaches to a rewarding legal career. For those who have deep ties within their own communities or perhaps deprived areas, free legal advice and free representation services allows graduates to use their law degree to practice and give legal advice while helping those who are in need of it. You will be exposed to a variety of legal sectors including Immigration, Housing, Employment, Family Law, Divorce, Children’s Law and Education though working at the CAB, CLAS and Law Centres. Working as a legal adviser is proactive experience to gain knowledge and training in how to talk to clients and will build confidence in practising as a lawyer. Law students who train as a CAB adviser will also have 6 months of their solicitor training contract if they choose to pursue it. To find out more, visit the CAB website or the CLAS website.
Often students forget about the barrister route to law, which is very demanding but just as satisfying as a solicitor role, if not more so due to the stark competitiveness of the role. Barristers are specialist legal advisers and court room advocates. They are trained to advise clients on the strengths and weaknesses of their cases and have specialist knowledge and experience of the court process. To become a barrister law graduates must complete the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) which is one year long. During this course students will learn an array of subjects including criminal advocacy; civil advocacy, drafting, opinion writing and civil litigation. Before starting the course, however, students must join one of the four available Inns of Court as they are the only institutions which can call qualified students to the bar. The fee for the BPTC varies from around £14,000-£19,000, however scholarships are readily available. To find out more information, visit the Bar Council website or click here.
A licenced conveyancer is an individual who specialises in property law. They advise clients on the buying and selling process, draft contracts with details of the sale, talk and wok closely with mortgage lenders, estate agents and solicitors and much more. Licensed conveyancer’s can work their way up from being qualified to managing a conveyancing department in a large company, or set up their own conveyancing firm. For a law graduate to become a licenced conveyancer, they must pass the Council for Licenced Conveyancer qualification. The course is spilt up into 2 parts; a foundation course and a final course. Students will learn and will be examined on an array of subjects such as Landlord, Tenant, Accounts and Law of Contract. Students must also spend at least 2 years of full-time practical training, working under the supervision of a qualified employer such as a solicitor or fully-qualified conveyancer. The course can be completed in 2-4 years. To find out more information, visit the CLC website or click here.