jake.surfer
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
So, I was thinking about becoming a lawyer, but I think I may have messed up my chances of getting that far.

My A-Level's are not exactly essay based and I have a science as well as mathematics on my side. Universities state that there are no "specific" subjects they want or are looking for when applying to university, so I'm a little stuck.

Throughout my whole life I've wanted to become a lawyer, whether a barrister, solicitor or even a paralegal (last in the list) and my teachers - in secondary school - have always stuck up for me.

I suppose my real questions are:

"Is it worth taking on a law degree at university?"

"Would it be easy to get a job in a lawyer firm? (UK) - I have family members who are barristers in large firms, one of which is the director."

"Is it really worth all of that debt I get into through doing the law degree and completing further education?"

And then, one last question: what is it like to be a lawyer? I prefer prosecuting rather then defending, but I take it prosecution and defending both come into the contract, right? As long as you can win cases through doing both.. (I have no clue!)

There's a lot of stuff on Google about that but I would like to hear some people's opinions on here. Also, what do you think about lawyers? your own personal opinion.

Thanks Guys! :-)
0
reply
Vav Sartrean Po
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
Good thread, what grades are you looking at A levels? And subjects
1
reply
TheHonestMisty
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#3
Report 4 years ago
#3
Law is a highly regarded degree, however there is an excess supply of law graduates as the demand for law graduates is very low. Many Law students struggle to find work and so you may not find a job straight away. If your family member is a director then you may be lucky! My cousins are barristers and have some what discouraged me from doing a Law degree purely on the fact that I will not find a job straight away and that it is a long process to actually qualify.
I have actually wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. I love the thought of arguing for someone's rights haha. I like to put others first rather than myself - don't know if that is a bad thing
1
reply
simbasdragon
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#4
Report 4 years ago
#4
1. It's worth it in that it's seen as a respectable degree and may help you should you wish to apply to another job. However, many report that it is an extremely difficult, dry and boring degree, so only do it if you feel like you'd have a genuine interest.

2. It certainly would not be easy to get a job in a firm. There are significantly more students studying law than there are jobs for them, it will be highly competitive. For example, at the university of Birmingham in one year alone there are 400 law students. Having a family member may help if they are willing to employ you, however I'm not sure on the laws surrounding nepotism.

3. A 3 year law degree will leave you in the same amount of debt as any other degree, it's worth it if you enjoy the course and come out with a good classification.

4. I'm afraid that the role of the barrister is increasingly becoming void due to solicitor advocates where the solicitor now acts as the barrister- it is a dying profession. Working in criminal law as you seem to want to is also very low paid now due to legal aid.

Your a levels are fine for law, you might want to complete an EPQ on an essay based subject to prove your writing capability, however this is not necessary.
1
reply
The Warsmith
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#5
Report 4 years ago
#5
What if you did a different course like classics at uni, and then you did a conversion course for law. Would that alter your chances of getting a job?

Or is it better (say for me as I'm going to be doing joint a.greek and german) to do another conversion course after graduating? What options do I have?

Thanks for the help.

Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
username1421435
Badges: 17
Rep:
?
#6
Report 4 years ago
#6
(Original post by jake.surfer)
So, I was thinking about becoming a lawyer, but I think I may have messed up my chances of getting that far.

My A-Level's are not exactly essay based and I have a science as well as mathematics on my side. Universities state that there are no "specific" subjects they want or are looking for when applying to university, so I'm a little stuck.

Throughout my whole life I've wanted to become a lawyer, whether a barrister, solicitor or even a paralegal (last in the list) and my teachers - in secondary school - have always stuck up for me.

I suppose my real questions are:

"Is it worth taking on a law degree at university?"

"Would it be easy to get a job in a lawyer firm? (UK) - I have family members who are barristers in large firms, one of which is the director."

"Is it really worth all of that debt I get into through doing the law degree and completing further education?"

And then, one last question: what is it like to be a lawyer? I prefer prosecuting rather then defending, but I take it prosecution and defending both come into the contract, right? As long as you can win cases through doing both.. (I have no clue!)

There's a lot of stuff on Google about that but I would like to hear some people's opinions on here. Also, what do you think about lawyers? your own personal opinion.

Thanks Guys! :-)
I too want to be a lawyer when I'm older, always been set on that. For A levels, I have taken 4 science subjects. In university, I plan on studying maths. The answers to your question are no, no, yes, and I havent a clue, you and I have a long way to go before we even start contemplating what type of law.
0
reply
faggstagram
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#7
Report 4 years ago
#7
(Original post by Ser Alex Toyne)
What if you did a different course like classics at uni, and then you did a conversion course for law. Would that alter your chances of getting a job?

Or is it better (say for me as I'm going to be doing joint a.greek and german) to do another conversion course after graduating? What options do I have?

Thanks for the help.

Posted from TSR Mobile
I know that you don't have to do a law undergraduate degree, you can do a degree in almost anything. you want and just take a postgraduate conversion course and it won't harm your chances. At a law day I went to in Birmingham they actually recommended doing that - doing a subject that you enjoy and then converting post grad if you still feel so inclined. that's what the majority of the young trainees did


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
sph93
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#8
Report 4 years ago
#8
(Original post by jake.surfer)
So, I was thinking about becoming a lawyer, but I think I may have messed up my chances of getting that far.

My A-Level's are not exactly essay based and I have a science as well as mathematics on my side. Universities state that there are no "specific" subjects they want or are looking for when applying to university, so I'm a little stuck.

Throughout my whole life I've wanted to become a lawyer, whether a barrister, solicitor or even a paralegal (last in the list) and my teachers - in secondary school - have always stuck up for me.

I suppose my real questions are:

"Is it worth taking on a law degree at university?"

"Would it be easy to get a job in a lawyer firm? (UK) - I have family members who are barristers in large firms, one of which is the director."

"Is it really worth all of that debt I get into through doing the law degree and completing further education?"

And then, one last question: what is it like to be a lawyer? I prefer prosecuting rather then defending, but I take it prosecution and defending both come into the contract, right? As long as you can win cases through doing both.. (I have no clue!)

There's a lot of stuff on Google about that but I would like to hear some people's opinions on here. Also, what do you think about lawyers? your own personal opinion.

Thanks Guys! :-)
I did Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A Level and have gained a training contract this year so science subjects are absolutely fine.

If you really want a career in law then yes, a degree is worth it. I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else. Debt is a huge consideration, there's the degree costs but then the postgrad, either LPC or bar course, fees to consider. But, again, if you want a career in law it's not going to be fatal. I'm working 7 days a week at the minute to afford my LPC.

It's not easy at all to get into a firm. Finding a training contract is incredibly hard, and a pupillage is even worse. But, if you put the effort in to your course, get a load of work experience and voluntary work you'll have a good shot.

As for what it's like being a lawyer - get work experience. It's the most useful way of appreciating the work.


Posted from TSR Mobile
0
reply
futbol
Badges: 18
Rep:
?
#9
Report 4 years ago
#9
This kind of lawyer?

1
reply
jake.surfer
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#10
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#10
(Original post by Marshall Taylor)
Good thread, what grades are you looking at A levels? And subjects
I'm hoping (and praying!) that I'll get something like AAB in the order of DT, Mathematics and Chemistry. I'm not exactly sure which universities will accept that as, for what I can see, most want AAA. I just don't think I'll be able to achieve that, but who knows?


(Original post by TheHonestMisty)
Law is a highly regarded degree, however there is an excess supply of law graduates as the demand for law graduates is very low. Many Law students struggle to find work and so you may not find a job straight away. If your family member is a director then you may be lucky! My cousins are barristers and have some what discouraged me from doing a Law degree purely on the fact that I will not find a job straight away and that it is a long process to actually qualify.
I have actually wanted to be a lawyer for as long as I can remember. I love the thought of arguing for someone's rights haha. I like to put others first rather than myself - don't know if that is a bad thing
Haha! I do exactly the same thing and, yes, I think it's a good thing - to some extent!
Yeah, I hear that there is a lack f jobs available, but still, there's nothing stopping you from going into lawyer firms and just saying something like "Hey, I'd like some experience of being a lawyer. I don't want to get paid or anything, I will sign a confidentiality agreement, I just want the experience." That way, the 'employer' has no reason NOT to accept you, only if they can be bothered to look after you for a week or two.


(Original post by simbasdragon)
1. It's worth it in that it's seen as a respectable degree and may help you should you wish to apply to another job. However, many report that it is an extremely difficult, dry and boring degree, so only do it if you feel like you'd have a genuine interest.

2. It certainly would not be easy to get a job in a firm. There are significantly more students studying law than there are jobs for them, it will be highly competitive. For example, at the university of Birmingham in one year alone there are 400 law students. Having a family member may help if they are willing to employ you, however I'm not sure on the laws surrounding nepotism.

3. A 3 year law degree will leave you in the same amount of debt as any other degree, it's worth it if you enjoy the course and come out with a good classification.

4. I'm afraid that the role of the barrister is increasingly becoming void due to solicitor advocates where the solicitor now acts as the barrister- it is a dying profession. Working in criminal law as you seem to want to is also very low paid now due to legal aid.

Your a levels are fine for law, you might want to complete an EPQ on an essay based subject to prove your writing capability, however this is not necessary.
Thank you for your answers! :thumbsup:
Yeah, I've heard the same - however, because I've always wanted to become a lawyer ever since I can remember really, I would do it as I have real passion for it. I'm also the type of person who would see myself as a lawyer in the future, enjoying my job, and I think that's what would keep me going.
I was thinking of going into my relatives' firm and just asking for some experience over the Summer Holidays. I know the chances f that are pretty slim, but there's no harm in trying, right?
So, having a Law degree is valued, but would most employers see it as a positive thing when employing you or a weight in your 'carrier' (I just made that phrase up haha)?
Also, would an EPQ raise my chances a little?

(Original post by sph93)
I did Biology, Chemistry and Maths at A Level and have gained a training contract this year so science subjects are absolutely fine.

If you really want a career in law then yes, a degree is worth it. I couldn't imagine myself doing anything else. Debt is a huge consideration, there's the degree costs but then the postgrad, either LPC or bar course, fees to consider. But, again, if you want a career in law it's not going to be fatal. I'm working 7 days a week at the minute to afford my LPC.

It's not easy at all to get into a firm. Finding a training contract is incredibly hard, and a pupillage is even worse. But, if you put the effort in to your course, get a load of work experience and voluntary work you'll have a good shot.

As for what it's like being a lawyer - get work experience. It's the most useful way of appreciating the work.


Posted from TSR Mobile
Congratulations with your contract!
What kind of work experience are they looking for? Did you get any and if so, what were they? Sorry to be nosey!
How do I even go about getting work experience?! Haha! :laugh:


(Original post by futbol)
This kind of lawyer?

HAHAHAHAHA! :laugh::laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
1
reply
TurboCretin
Badges: 16
Rep:
?
#11
Report 4 years ago
#11
(Original post by jake.surfer)
My A-Level's are not exactly essay based and I have a science as well as mathematics on my side. Universities state that there are no "specific" subjects they want or are looking for when applying to university, so I'm a little stuck.
Not necessarily a problem for law degrees.

(Original post by jake.surfer)
"Is it worth taking on a law degree at university?"
If you think you'll enjoy it, yes. Otherwise, you may be better off studying something else and converting. For law career purposes, the important considerations here are to go to a target university and to get good marks on your degree.

(Original post by jake.surfer)
"Would it be easy to get a job in a lawyer firm? (UK) - I have family members who are barristers in large firms, one of which is the director."
It isn't easy to get a job in a City firm - there's a lot of competition. Family contacts help a lot, although what you say here is confusing as barristers don't (generally) work in firms and firms don't (generally) have directors as such. Anyway, if you have lawyer family members then ask them if they could get you some work experience.

(Original post by jake.surfer)
"Is it really worth all of that debt I get into through doing the law degree and completing further education?"
I don't want to ask how long a piece of string is, but it really does depend. Can we gaze into a crystal ball and say whether you'll get a legal job? No, not really. Will a law degree make you more attractive (by itself) than many other degrees? Probably not. From that point of view, I would only recommend a law degree on the basis you'd enjoy the degree itself. That should be what guides your decision about whether it will be 'worth it'.

(Original post by jake.surfer)
And then, one last question: what is it like to be a lawyer? I prefer prosecuting rather then defending, but I take it prosecution and defending both come into the contract, right? As long as you can win cases through doing both.. (I have no clue!)
Many lawyers never go to court, and many who do don't do criminal work. You should read up on the differences between the role of solicitors and barristers, and the differences between civil and criminal work (both of which are done by both solicitors and barristers).

Big commercial firms have a lot of 'insight' videos online. Type 'Allen & Overy' or 'Linklaters' into YouTube.

This gives a quick overview of different practice areas:
http://www.chambersstudent.co.uk/practice-areas
0
reply
Crazy Jamie
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#12
Report 4 years ago
#12
Most of your questions have already been addressed, but just to rattle through the easy answers so you have them all in one place:

Should you do a law degree? Yes, but only if you have an interest in law as an academic subject. If you have a burning interest in something else, do a different degree and then do the GDL to convert. Your degree classification is very important, and you're more likely to do well at a degree that you are genuinely interested in.

Is the debt worth it? Assuming you have a genuine, informed interest in becoming a lawyer, the answer to this question depends on your own objective assessment of your chances of becoming a lawyer. It is a competitive area, and you're not going to walk into a job at the end of the academic process. If you genuinely believe you have the ability as well as the desire to work hard at it, the debt is worth it, but it's for you to properly assess that risk.

However, to my mind the biggest issue for you to address first is this one:
(Original post by jake.surfer)
And then, one last question: what is it like to be a lawyer? I prefer prosecuting rather then defending, but I take it prosecution and defending both come into the contract, right? As long as you can win cases through doing both.. (I have no clue!)

Yeah, I've heard the same - however, because I've always wanted to become a lawyer ever since I can remember really, I would do it as I have real passion for it. I'm also the type of person who would see myself as a lawyer in the future, enjoying my job, and I think that's what would keep me going.
The problem is that despite having always wanted to be a lawyer, you don't seem to have much, if any appreciation of what the career entails. I wouldn't expect someone in your position to know exactly what the day to day life of a barrister or solicitor entails, but you must make sure that you properly research this as much as you can, as well as gaining whatever experience you can.

Briefly, the legal profession is divided into solicitors and barristers. The two are very different jobs, and whilst you would do a law degree or conversion course to begin with irrespective of which way you want to go, once you get to the postgraduate stage you then have to make an active choice between the two. The extent of the differences between the professions depends somewhat on the area of law that they're practising in.

Generally speaking, solicitors are employed and have a salary. Solicitors are usually the first point of contact for anyone who has a legal problem, be it that they have been accused of a crime, want to bring a personal injury claim, want to get divorced, or anything else relating to the law. Solicitors will manage cases from start to finish, and will have a caseload of cases that they are constantly watching over and dealing with. Whilst solicitors will sometimes go to court either to do some advocacy or be there to support a barrister, and may go to clients' premises for various reasons, the role is primarily office based.

Barristers are usually self employed, and get paid for each piece of work they do, be it a trial, conference with a client, or a piece of paperwork. They have no set salary, and will pay a percentage of their earnings to their Chambers. Barristers do not have case loads per se, and instead do work essentially when they are instructed, usually by solicitors. Most barristers will spend most weekdays in Court, either doing trials or other applications or hearings, and advocacy is therefore central to the role.

The exact balance within each of the roles depends on the area of law. For example, criminal barristers will be in Court practically every day, and their practice is based heavily on trials and advocacy. Barristers doing personal injury work will have something of a balance, and will have plenty of paperwork to do (for example, writing written advice on whether or not a case has prospects of success) as well as attending Court. Commercial and Chancery barristers will have less time in Court than other areas, and will generally have a higher volume of more complicated paperwork.

The same applies to a degree to solicitors. Criminal solicitors, for example, will often do quite a bit of advocacy as part of their role, and can appear in both the Magistrates Court and Crown Court (the latter being possible when a solicitor has attained higher rights, something which barristers automatically have). Family solicitors may also do some advocacy to a greater or lesser degree, whilst personal injury solicitors will do very little advocacy, and will almost never run trials.

Now, there is no pressure on you to decide on a preferred area of law at this point, as indeed you are highly unlikely to have any idea what it is like to practise in one area compared to another, but you should be broadly aware of the differences between the professions. The best way to help you to make an informed choice is to do work experience, which means undertaking a mini pupillage in a Chambers or any type of work experience that you can secure in a law firm.
0
reply
Crazy Jamie
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#13
Report 4 years ago
#13
(Original post by simbasdragon)
4. I'm afraid that the role of the barrister is increasingly becoming void due to solicitor advocates where the solicitor now acts as the barrister- it is a dying profession. Working in criminal law as you seem to want to is also very low paid now due to legal aid.
Whilst it is true that criminal barristers are facing significant challenges, suggesting that the role of 'the barrister' is becoming void is just wrong. It certainly isn't true in areas of civil law. Both family and criminal are facing problems with legal aid cuts, and anyone wanting to go into either of those areas really do need to properly research those issues before making a definitive decision. But it is not correct to say the profession is dying in either area.
0
reply
Le Nombre
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#14
Report 4 years ago
#14
(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
The same applies to a degree to solicitors. Criminal solicitors, for example, will often do quite a bit of advocacy as part of their role, and can appear in both the Magistrates Court and Crown Court (the latter being possible when a solicitor has attained higher rights, something which barristers automatically have). Family solicitors may also do some advocacy to a greater or lesser degree, whilst personal injury solicitors will do very little advocacy, and will almost never run trials.
Plus most solicitors are non-contentious and never even see inside a court, corporate work dominates the City and the biggest department outside the City is usually property.

One of our partners even proudly proclaims he is a 'dealmaker, not a lawyer' ie. 'I've not known the law since CA 2006 came in, but I make a fortune'.
0
reply
sph93
Badges: 8
Rep:
?
#15
Report 4 years ago
#15
Thanks ☺️.

Work experience can be anything. I volunteered in a law centre for 18 months, I did a months placement at the firm I have a TC with, I did a week with a few other firms, I organised a national moot, national law conference, was involved with my law society, was a student rep on my local Junior Lawyers Division committee, did court visits... Literally anything that came up! Seems ridiculous when I write it all down but you've got to take every opportunity you can.

Write to some local law firms and chambers, even a few days is good. If that doesn't work then you could look into volunteering at a law center or CAB, go to court and watch for a few days, there's witness support too which you could volunteer for. All sorts!
0
reply
callum_law
Badges: 3
Rep:
?
#16
Report 4 years ago
#16
(Original post by simbasdragon)
4. I'm afraid that the role of the barrister is increasingly becoming void due to solicitor advocates where the solicitor now acts as the barrister- it is a dying profession. Working in criminal law as you seem to want to is also very low paid now due to legal aid.
If you don't know something, don't pretend to. It's not at all useful to anyone reading the information you are given, in a quasi-authoritative manner.

The legal profession has changed in both directions. Solicitors can advocate in the higher courts, and barristers can advise and advocate in the lower courts with Direct Access. It's not the case that being a solicitor is a dual professional whereas barristers only have one facility: they are both dual professions, in a sense.

As for the OP, yes, your A-Levels are fine. I have many people on my course who have studied all sciences and stumbled upon the idea of Law much later on than others. They still got onto the course. The study of an essay-based subject would, however, be an advantage for you application and also for your confidence.
0
reply
simbasdragon
Badges: 19
Rep:
?
#17
Report 4 years ago
#17
(Original post by callum_law)
If you don't know something, don't pretend to. It's not at all useful to anyone reading the information you are given, in a quasi-authoritative manner.

The legal profession has changed in both directions. Solicitors can advocate in the higher courts, and barristers can advise and advocate in the lower courts with Direct Access. It's not the case that being a solicitor is a dual professional whereas barristers only have one facility: they are both dual professions, in a sense.

As for the OP, yes, your A-Levels are fine. I have many people on my course who have studied all sciences and stumbled upon the idea of Law much later on than others. They still got onto the course. The study of an essay-based subject would, however, be an advantage for you application and also for your confidence.
As having both a mother and sister as solicitors I know exactly what I am talking about thanks. Yes barristers are able to work in both courts but the demand for them will continue to reduce due to solicitors instead choosing to represent themselves. This reality may be uncomfortable for you, but it is the truth. I had wished to become a barrister but was actively warned against it by both my experiencd family members and others in the legal profession.
0
reply
Crazy Jamie
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#18
Report 4 years ago
#18
(Original post by simbasdragon)
As having both a mother and sister as solicitors I know exactly what I am talking about thanks. Yes barristers are able to work in both courts but the demand for them will continue to reduce due to solicitors instead choosing to represent themselves. This reality may be uncomfortable for you, but it is the truth. I had wished to become a barrister but was actively warned against it by both my experiencd family members and others in the legal profession.
No, you do not. What you have is limited knowledge and understanding of a particular issue within the legal profession, which you have gleamed from a handful of conversations with those in the profession. The problem is that you are then speaking with authority on an issue that you very little overall understanding of, taking the warning given to you by family members as gospel and thinking it applies equally across the board.

Let me be clear on this. Your warning that barristers are a 'dying profession' is categorically incorrect. The advocacy issue that you refer to is primarily a problem facing criminal barristers; whilst it exists in family law to some degree, the issues there are slightly different. But there are many other practice areas where barristers are not facing any problem with decreasing advocacy demand at all, and as such your warning in that regard is simple not valid for large swathes of the profession.

Even within the remit of criminal law, you are painting the issue as black and white, when it is significantly more complex than you realise. You are entirely unaware of the nuances of these issues, the extent to which they are affecting criminal or family barristers in different areas of the country, or the steps that Chambers are taking to respond to those challenges. I am not at all convinced that you know what direct access is, for example, but even if you do (or even if you Google it on reading this post), you certainly don't know about the potential part that it has to play in mitigating against those issues.

Don't get me wrong; you won't have to search for long to find plenty of practitioners within criminal law who will actively discourage students from pursuing a career within that area regardless of occupation. But the correct approach for anybody considering a career as a barrister is to properly research the relevant issues and make an informed choice. By all means offer assistance in that regard to the extent that you are able, but as callum rightly says, if you do not know about something, do not pretend to. It is inadvisable in most situations, but particularly one such as this where people may make significant decisions based on what you say.
3
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

Why wouldn't you turn to teachers if you were being bullied?

They might tell my parents (19)
7.31%
They might tell the bully (26)
10%
I don't think they'd understand (42)
16.15%
It might lead to more bullying (94)
36.15%
There's nothing they could do (79)
30.38%

Watched Threads

View All