What is life like working in Government Legal Services?

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beatricehalley
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#1
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I was interested in becoming a lawyer, and living in London hosts many of the prestigious law firms. However, I realised that I couldn't do the soul eating corporate commercial law you do in city firms, where you work long hours despite the great pay.

I then looked into the civil service and discovered the GLS.
If anyone can answer my questions, that would be great:

- If I have a non law degree, do I have to pay for a GDL?
- What is the work-life balance like?
- Do you find your work fulfilling or extremely stressful?
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The University of Law Students
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(Original post by beatricehalley)
I was interested in becoming a lawyer, and living in London hosts many of the prestigious law firms. However, I realised that I couldn't do the soul eating corporate commercial law you do in city firms, where you work long hours despite the great pay.

I then looked into the civil service and discovered the GLS.
If anyone can answer my questions, that would be great:

- If I have a non law degree, do I have to pay for a GDL?
- What is the work-life balance like?
- Do you find your work fulfilling or extremely stressful?
Hi Beatricehalley

I don't work for the GLS but I have looked into this myself. You will find this information helpful- https://www.gov.uk/guidance/governme...ly#course-fees It is for last year's intake but gives you details about payment for courses. From my research, I found the work-life balance was much better than some criminal/family chambers but perhaps not as good as some commercial chambers- although there is the addition of work schemes which you may not get at chambers.

Hope that helps get you started.

Nic
Student Ambassador at the University of Law
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Blayze
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I did some work experience with the GLD (as it was then called) a while ago. A few things to note:

1. Work life balance is much better than most commercial firms, but probably not as good as some public sector places (The Pensions Regulator for example is renowned for very low hours from what I hear). They were very good with flexi-time even pre-COVID.
2. Although the GLD does offer pupillages, your workload is much much more similar to that of a solicitor. They do farm you out to Chambers for 6 months so you do learn somethings, but for most things you are treated as lawyers together, since external counsel tend to be used.
3. You get quite a lot of responsibility quite early on.
4. Quite diverse caseload - you tend to be attached to one department, and move every (3?) years; I think you can ask not to, but the idea was that the breadth of work would make you better.
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Augustino D
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(Original post by beatricehalley)
I was interested in becoming a lawyer, and living in London hosts many of the prestigious law firms. However, I realised that I couldn't do the soul eating corporate commercial law you do in city firms, where you work long hours despite the great pay.

I then looked into the civil service and discovered the GLS.
If anyone can answer my questions, that would be great:

- If I have a non law degree, do I have to pay for a GDL?
- What is the work-life balance like?
- Do you find your work fulfilling or extremely stressful?
You might want to look for a positive reason for joining the GLD, not a list of negative ones ("I don't want to work long hours, I don't want to have my soul eaten, I don't want a stressful job").

Your first question can be answered via a quick Google search - it is literally on the page that explains everything an applicant needs to know. Don't be a lazy pants, that's not going to fly at the GLD either. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/governme...ly#course-fees. It says "Unfortunately, departments will be unable to provide funding for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)."
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