There is no one set route into a career in law, which is what makes deciding what to study and your understanding you options after graduating tricky. We’ve put together some top tips on getting into Law to help make things clearer.
“How do I become a solicitor/barrister?”
If you want to be a solicitor, before starting a training contract with a law firm you must complete the vocational Legal Practice Course (LPC). Did you know our MLaw Legal Professional Practice graduates gain exemption from the LPC examinations? This means you’d have a great head start in the route to becoming a solicitor (and you’ll save money too).
For those looking to become barristers, you are required to take the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). Once the BPTC is completed, the final stage of training is the pupillage, which involves practical experience in barristers' chambers. After this you'll be ready to apply for tenancy as a self-employed barrister in chambers or go into practice as an employed barrister. Find out more in tutor John Clifford’s webinar.
“Do I have to become a lawyer if I study law or are there other options?”
A law degree doesn’t just lead you to becoming a solicitor or a barrister - the analytical and lateral thinking skills that are gained through the degree will equip you with transferable skills and a foundation of knowledge that you can apply to a range of different professions, some of these include;
- Civil servant
- Police service
- the list goes on……
Similarly, if you decided to study another subject, you may be do a law conversion course.
To explore each of these options in more detail, take a look at the PROSPECTS website.
“What subjects should I take?”
There is no one set route to a career in a legal field and there are no specific subject requirements in order to study Law at Pearson Business School. However A Levels or BTECs in History and Modern Languages are often desirable subjects to employers. Subjects such as English are also considered useful as you will gain important essay writing skills which are essential to a Law degree. If you’re unsure about what you might study at university, keep your options open by taking ‘facilitating’ subjects such as l maths, science or a foreign language to keep specialization flexible. If you aren’t currently studying these subjects don’t be put off from applying, other humanities and arts related subjects develop written and oral skills that you will be able to use both academically and professionally.
“What skills will I gain through doing a Law degree”
Law degrees provide you with knowledge of national and international laws and the ability to draft formal documents with precision. As well as developing a range of subject-specific and technical skills, you also gain more general skills including analytical ability and confident, oral communication skills. Throughout a law degree you will write essays, take numerous exams and will will be required to absorb complex information and be able to construct concise arguments. Here’s some of the skills you could gain:
- Analytical ability
- Presentation skills – by taking part in mooting competitions and pro bono
- Societies, offering legal advice to real people
- Negotiation skills
- Organisational/prioritisation skills
Whether you decide to pursue a career after graduation in the legal sector or move into a completely separate field, these skills will be invaluable throughout your working life.
“What can I do to make sure my personal statement and CV stand out?”
Whilst gaining a professional qualification is essential in some professions, it is also important to try and gain work experience within the industry. Work experience could include part-time work in a local law firm or in the legal department of any organisation, large or small. Gaining early experience will allow you to pick up office and admin skills, as well as improve your ability to work independently and manage your own workload.
Part of what makes our degrees stand out are our guaranteed internships*, as you would be graduating not only with a LLB (Honours) Law / MLaw Legal Professional Practice but also industry experience to give you a head start in the sector.
Volunteering in your spare time is also a great way to gain valuable experience. Take a look at volunteering pages in your local area or speak to local firms who may be interested in a summer/holiday intern.
For more information on internships and placements in Law visit RateMyPlacement.