Not having a law degree isn’t a barrier to working in the industry. In fact, the modern legal profession is full of non-law graduates, and the skills and experiences you gain studying and working in other fields can be used to your advantage. From starting as an apprentice, to becoming a solicitor or barrister, join us as we have a look at your options…
Become a legal apprentice
Legal services apprenticeships are taking the sector by storm. A host of companies from all over the country are recruiting promising school leavers and career changing adults into their firms. Even better, the vacancies can pay up to £18,000 as a starting salary, giving students a fantastic first step into the legal industry. Entry requirements are also more flexible than you’d think – no UCAS points are needed, just strong literacy and numeracy skills. Some firms do request A Levels but not necessarily in law.
Become a lawyer
We don’t want to sell this as an easy option, because it isn’t, regardless of the route you take. Studying to be a lawyer using vocational routes does have its advantages (you can learn flexibly and part-time, fitting it around your commitments for example) and it can be considerably cheaper. To give you an idea going to university can cost up to £9,000 per year (so £27,000 over three years), whereas becoming a Chartered Legal Executive lawyer, for example, can cost less than £8,000 from start to finish, and be studied at your own pace.
Become a paralegal
Paralegals are a popular position within law and you tend to find a high number of them in most firms. As a paralegal you would have some qualifications in law and work under a qualified lawyer who you would support with their cases. Paralegal job roles can vary depending on the company you work for and the experience and qualifications you have. The types of tasks you’ll be doing can range from administrative and legal secretarial tasks to undertaking research and providing legal information to clients.
Become a legal secretary
This is a route that acts as a great foot in the door to the legal world. As a legal secretary you’ll provide administrative support for lawyers and legal executives. Entry to this position typically requires Maths and English GCSEs and experience of working in an office environment. This is often a great opportunity to build your legal knowledge and progress into other positions.
Be brave and make the change
If you think you’re ready to make a change and work in the legal sector, have a look at the work experience you’ve gained so far and match what transferable skills you could bring to the legal field. For example, law requires excellent people skills so if you’ve already got a proven track record in this, you’re already a step ahead. Have a look at your local Further Education College as many offer alternative courses to university that cost less and can be fit flexibly around your other commitments.
Date: 13 June 2017