Law and related work

General

Among young people, especially those hoping for high grades, legal careers are a popular move. This is in spite of the fact that working hours can be long, training expensive and much of the work routine - never mind the negative stories about lawyers appearing in the media! Maybe part of the attraction is that the law is constantly changing. Legislation, for instance, has recently been introduced concerning human rights and the prevention of discrimination against people with disabilities. Other changes have included the merger of various law firms. Some of these mergers have resulted in huge international firms which has meant opportunities to work abroad but also the need for individuals to become specialists.

Already know you want a Career in law? Then check out our Routes into Law page.

What does the Legal Sector involve?

The legal sector involves everything to do with legal services from where the police's interaction ends. The legal process in this country is incredibly complex and a large number of staff and support staff are needed to make it run smoothly. And even with these staff, the justice system and High Court Judges in particular often come under criticism and intense scrutiny. A job in the legal sector could see you working in courts or behind the scenes, dealing with paper or people.

Why should I apply for a career in the Legal Sector?

Aside from the financial rewards that would come from becoming a high profile barrister, the legal sector offers a number of interesting and challenging prospects for those that would consider a career in the sector. You'd be able to work with a wide range of people on a daily basis and, if your position involves working in court, getting to sit in and listen to court cases if you're not directly involved is likely to be a very attractive opportunity.

Whatever role you end up in, you'll be making a contribution to keeping the country in order.

Training and Applicants

Many legal jobs require at least a few GCSEs or Standard grades and, because competition can be strong, high grades don't do any harm. Some areas will obviously require require degrees (barrister, advocate and solicitor – though a very few people make it via the legal executive route) and then further courses and training. Legal secretaries often have relevant secretarial qualifications but employers are also concerned with typing speed and accuracy.

For lawyers, confidence and excellent verbal and communications skills are obviously necessary. Other useful traits are analytical ability and the ability to follow protocol. For other roles, communication and rule following will always be a very important character trait. Why not find out more information about solicitor jobs as an example?

What opportunities are available within the sector?

Opportunities in law are available at all levels. Some jobs involve assisting people and organisations with legal problems or queries (such as solicitors, barristers, advocates and legal executives). General support and background roles are also possible, such as legal secretary and court usher. Depending on the job, people can work for many types of organisations, including private companies and local and national government but self-employment is also possible for some areas (barristers are mostly self-employed).