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What other jobs are available in the legal sector?

Barristers and Solicitors are the most high profile members of the legal sector, and this can detract from knowledge of the various other positions available in the sector, often known as 'Ancillary legal professionals'. If you are interested in working in the legal sector but do not wish, or are unable, to train to become a barrister or solicitor, then this page could give you a few ideas.

To see more information on Barristers, click here or here. To find out more about Solicitors, click here or here.

Barrister's Clerk

Although termed a 'clerk', a Barrister's Clerk has a high level of responsibility within a Barrister's Chambers. It is the clerk's job to take care of the administrative and business side of the chambers, ensuring it runs smoothly on a day to day basis. He/she must have a very knowledge of the law and an understanding of how the court system works, plus excellent communication and organisation skills.

Degree level education is not essential to becoming a Barrister's Clerk, but it would certainly not harm an applicant. As the emphasis of the role shifts towards management and financial aspects, relevant work experience would be beneficial.

Essential skills for the role include:

  • Excellent verbal communication skills to liaise with both clients and legal professionals
  • Excellent organisation skills, including the ability to keep up with numerous projects simultaneously
  • Appropriate demeanour and spoken etiquette
  • Strong written communication skills
  • Good telephone manner
  • Strong negotiation skills
  • Good attention to detail
  • Adequate levels of computer literacy
  • Motivation and determination
  • Strong team work skills
  • The ability to be calm under pressure

Typical activities would include:

  • Liaising with new clients and forwarding queries to the relevant barrister
  • Facilitating meetings between barristers and instructing solicitors in cases
  • Planning case workloads and schedules
  • Referring cases to more suitable chambers, where necessary
  • Coordinating campaigns to procure cases
  • Keeping up to date with changes in law
  • Keeping up to date with the specialisms of the chamber's barristers
  • Negotiating fees
  • Keeping accounts and collecting fees

Junior clerks would also be involved with:

  • Any other general admin duties as required
  • Making arrangements for barristers
  • Delivering documents and other necessities to barristers/to court
  • Researching statutes and case materials

Legal Executive

A legal executive is a qualified lawyer (with at least 5 years' experience and membership of the Institute of Legal Executives) with a specialism in a particular area of law that works within a legal department of private companies or government departments. The difference between legal executives and other legal support staff is that legal executives deal with cases of their own and charge the client directly, as opposed to the client paying their 'employer'

Typical specialisms for legal executives are: conveyancing; civil and criminal litigation; family law; probate.

A legal executive is likely to be involed in:

  • Meeting and interviewing clients
  • Explaining points of law
  • Liaising with clients and other legal professionals
  • Analysing, researching and summarising legal information
  • Preparing legal documents
  • Attending court sessions to assist senior lawyers
  • Delegating tasks to junior staff
  • Keeping up to date with changes in law

Licensed Conveyancer

A Licensed Conveyancer is a someone with a legal specialism in the transferrence, purchase or sale of property. In this sense, property includes houses, flats, business premises, land, etc. A legal conveyancer deals with all legal aspects of a deal, from initial negotiations to finally completing transactions; undertaking any necessary paperwork and resolving any legal queries along the way. They also draw up any contracts that must be signed by all involved parties and offer advice, often related to financial implications, to their clients along the way.

A degree is not essential, but previous work experience in a related field would be needed to compensate for this. Many conveyancers work for legal firms, and some are employed by estate agent firms. However, self-employment is also common for members of the Council of Licensed Conveyancers.

Typical tasks involve:

  • Liaising with clients
  • Researching relevant legal issues
  • Drafting all transaction documents and ensuring these are accurate
  • Negotiating with the other party, and their legal representatives where necessary, in a transactions
  • Checking, drafting and exchanging contracts
  • Dealing with financial issues of transactions


A Paralegal is someone who is employed to deal with legal issues but who is not themselves a qualified lawyer. Since all businesses are likely to require legal tasks being completed from one time to another, there is no boundaries to the types of company a paralegal can be employed by.

There is no specific qualification or experience required for someone to call themselves a paralegal. Usually some background in law, either from studying or work experience will suffice. There are professional bodies that offer training and qualifications, and these are becoming more standard.

Typical activities for a paralegal really depend upon the seniority of the individual, but could include:

  • General admin work
  • Drafting and proof reading documents
  • Attending and taking notes in court
  • Preparing and organising files for legal professionals
  • Undertaking legal research where necessary
  • Liaising with clients

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