Civil servant considering career change...

Watch
Valjean
Badges: 13
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
I'm posting here rather than in the university forums as I am trying to weigh up whether undertaking a part time LLB at 25 would be worthwhile in terms of the eventual career prospects. It's really difficult to decide whether to put my energy into advancing my existing career or into pursuing a career in law.

Existing career
I currently work within the civil service. My job is mainly akin to that of a costs draughtsman, i.e. assessing legal invoices submitted by claimants and making recommendations on what would be a reasonable amount for the organisation to reimburse for wasted costs. This involves a lot of reading judgments and other relevant case law/legislation, to inform my assessment of whether the instruction of particular specialists was justified. I also have a small caseload of complaints/Ombudsman/corporate stats work.

Previously I was responsible for co-ordinating High Court litigation on behalf of the same organisation, giving me lots of experience in administrative law. I briefed ministers on cases and also wrote summaries of recent judgments for internal circulation.

Have worked consistently since I was 18, in various agency jobs. I was also a director of the family business while my dad was ill.

Qualifications (somewhat non-mainstream...)
I did 8 Standard Grades at secondary school in Scotland. Results were 6 Credit passes and 2 General passes.
At 16 I wanted to be a music teacher, so I did a course in classical music performance at a conservatoire. I finished with MM in a BTEC National Certificate.
Following this began a degree in History but left due to my dad being terminally ill. I have no desire to finish my degree in this area as I don't think it would benefit my career.
I then joined my current employer and did a level two apprenticeship in Business Administration, which was completed in 2013.
My employer is paying for me to do some postgraduate modules which are directly related to my work.


From reading these forums it is clear that it is extremely competitive to get a training contract or pupillage, and many of the top firms are focused on recruiting those with the best A Levels and a first class degree from a prestigious university. It is not financially viable for me to study full time and I doubt I'd be accepted at any of the top law schools. I am therefore considering a distance LLB at Northumbria (nowhere local offers part time LLB courses). I know that the UoL international LLB has more prestige but I'm put off by the statistics on how many people get a first or a 2:i.

My hope is that I could complete my part time LLB within 4 or 5 years while continuing to build experience through my current employer. My area of interest at the moment is in administrative law, and I have already made a number of contacts at Government Legal Department who I could approach for advice. My manager has been very supportive and has encouraged me to do some shadowing within the internal legal team.

After I finish my studies I would like to either pursue a legal career within the civil service or work as a barrister. Do you think that despite only having mediocre academic credentials, if I graduate with a decent degree classification and gain more legal experience, I have a chance of success with either route?
0
reply
happyinthehaze
Badges: 11
Rep:
?
#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
Yes of course you will - there are quite a few people in law who do not have the traditional background ie school, A levels, degree, conversion, vacation scheme, training contract. You also have lots of lovely costs experience. You will have by far and away huge amounts of lovely attractive costs experience that 999 out of a 1000 of your competitors will not have the teeniest tiniest weeniest clue about.

Two things that occur: a) think a lot about the bar before you go that route - it's in peril and it's extraordinarily difficult to bag a pupillage. and b) think about going after a Training Contract in a law costs firm. A little known thing is that they take trainees; so you would be perfect! It's all about about the wonga you know.

Look outside the traditional commercial law firms that you read about on this site; there are lots of options for you.


(Original post by Valjean)
I'm posting here rather than in the university forums as I am trying to weigh up whether undertaking a part time LLB at 25 would be worthwhile in terms of the eventual career prospects. It's really difficult to decide whether to put my energy into advancing my existing career or into pursuing a career in law.

Existing career
I currently work within the civil service. My job is mainly akin to that of a costs draughtsman, i.e. assessing legal invoices submitted by claimants and making recommendations on what would be a reasonable amount for the organisation to reimburse for wasted costs. This involves a lot of reading judgments and other relevant case law/legislation, to inform my assessment of whether the instruction of particular specialists was justified. I also have a small caseload of complaints/Ombudsman/corporate stats work.

Previously I was responsible for co-ordinating High Court litigation on behalf of the same organisation, giving me lots of experience in administrative law. I briefed ministers on cases and also wrote summaries of recent judgments for internal circulation.

Have worked consistently since I was 18, in various agency jobs. I was also a director of the family business while my dad was ill.

Qualifications (somewhat non-mainstream...)
I did 8 Standard Grades at secondary school in Scotland. Results were 6 Credit passes and 2 General passes.
At 16 I wanted to be a music teacher, so I did a course in classical music performance at a conservatoire. I finished with MM in a BTEC National Certificate.
Following this began a degree in History but left due to my dad being terminally ill. I have no desire to finish my degree in this area as I don't think it would benefit my career.
I then joined my current employer and did a level two apprenticeship in Business Administration, which was completed in 2013.
My employer is paying for me to do some postgraduate modules which are directly related to my work.


From reading these forums it is clear that it is extremely competitive to get a training contract or pupillage, and many of the top firms are focused on recruiting those with the best A Levels and a first class degree from a prestigious university. It is not financially viable for me to study full time and I doubt I'd be accepted at any of the top law schools. I am therefore considering a distance LLB at Northumbria (nowhere local offers part time LLB courses). I know that the UoL international LLB has more prestige but I'm put off by the statistics on how many people get a first or a 2:i.

My hope is that I could complete my part time LLB within 4 or 5 years while continuing to build experience through my current employer. My area of interest at the moment is in administrative law, and I have already made a number of contacts at Government Legal Department who I could approach for advice. My manager has been very supportive and has encouraged me to do some shadowing within the internal legal team.

After I finish my studies I would like to either pursue a legal career within the civil service or work as a barrister. Do you think that despite only having mediocre academic credentials, if I graduate with a decent degree classification and gain more legal experience, I have a chance of success with either route?
0
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

Should there be a new university admissions system that ditches predicted grades?

No, I think predicted grades should still be used to make offers (653)
33.64%
Yes, I like the idea of applying to uni after I received my grades (PQA) (823)
42.4%
Yes, I like the idea of receiving offers only after I receive my grades (PQO) (378)
19.47%
I think there is a better option than the ones suggested (let us know in the thread!) (87)
4.48%

Watched Threads

View All