There are two main routes to becoming a solicitor or barrister. One is:
(Original post by Echoesandthen)
I've recently come to the conclusion that I want to become a lawyer of some sort, preferably Human Rights Law, but I'm not really sure how to go about getting it down. I'm currently approaching the end of my A-Levels and I am planning to, hopefully, go to Royal Holloway to study History and Politics with Economics. A friend of my suggested a Law conversion but I have no idea how that works. Can anyone help me out, or at least point me in the direction of help.
Any kind of assistance is appreciated.
Law degree -> LPC (to become a solicitor)/BPTC (to become a barrister).
The other is:
Non-law degree -> GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law) -> LPC/BPTC.
Basically you have to do an extra year's study after university. This will cost around £10,000 plus living expenses. If you are lucky you will get a Training Contract, which will usually come with a stipend to cover both. If you aren't so lucky, you won't, so you will have to pay upfront to qualify and then try to find a job.
The legal jobs market is pretty saturated, so competition will be intense (a First will help). However, it is just as possible to meet with success after a conversion as after a Law degree.
There are a few other routes available; notably you can do a second undergrad degree, in Law, often accelerated to a two year course, but you will still need the LPC/BPTC.
Bear in mind that though there is some variation in the quality of the postgrad course (GDL/LPC/BPTC) providers, you will generally be judged on the quality of your original degree.
I wasn't very clear above - a Training Contract is where a firm agrees to take you on for two years as a trainee solicitor. You are not fully qualified until after this. The bigger firms will often sponsor you (i.e. pay your fees) and give you a Training Contract. Some firms may offer you the contract but refuse to pay the fees (you must self-fund). If you want to become a barrister, there is pretty much no fee help available. Becoming a solicitor is generally quite competitive, but becoming a barrister is insanely so.
Last edited by michael321; 14-05-2012 at 20:12.