A career in law could be the perfect profession for those eager to have an exciting life, accompanied by a rollercoaster of emotions. Whether you to aim to be the next Amal Clooney or Annalise Keating from TV show, How To Get Away With Murder – you’ll never have a dull moment. And at the end of the day you will go home with a sense of achievement, knowing you have contributed something to the society around you.
Specialists in cycling accident claims, True Solicitors look at the different paths one could take to land a job in the courtroom. Most people think it’s not what you know, it’s who you know – but in law, this isn’t the case. If you’re passionate, well driven and thrive on making a difference, you will achieve your goal of working in law.
Where to start? GCSEs.
If you want a stable career in law, you need to work for it – and this means from the very beginning. GCSEs will be the foundations of everything and will allow you to progress and climb higher on the law ladder. Achieving good grades at GCSE level will show your determination and work ethic, making you more likely to benefit when deciding which next path to go down: A-Levels or an apprenticeship scheme.
Second Stage – After completing your GCSEs
Once you’ve finished your GCSEs, you can either progress onto A-Levels or an Intermediate Apprenticeship. This can be a tough decision to make once you’ve received your results – and if you’ve followed our first stage and gained incredible grades, your doors are wide open with opportunity.
If you decide to study A-Levels after completing your GCSEs, you need to make sure you gain top grades after the two years. Usually those who study A-Levels progress onto university to advance themselves for their career in law.If you choose this route, there are some top tips that you should know. Some universities prefer that you study traditional subjects at A-Level such as history, languages or literature – studying law at this level is not always a requirement for doing this subject at university but it might put you in a better position than other applicants as you’re already familiar with the subject – so make sure that you meet the university’s requirements.
Apprenticeships are specifically aimed at those who leave school after their GCSEs and have not studied their A-Levels. This route to a career in law is seemingly becoming more popular among young people. Although there are specific requirements for you to take this path, anyone looking to do an intermediate apprenticeship must have the minimum of five GCSEs (although more may be required depending on the firm) that are graded from A*-C or anything equivalent. The benefit of apprenticeships in this field is that students are able to work in the real environment with qualified professionals, whether this is assisting on cases in administration or meeting with different clients. Intermediate Apprenticeships usually run for two years and will help develop the skills of those who gain their place in the office.
Third Stage – After completing your A-Levels
After completing your A-Levels and obtaining good results, there are three different routes that you can then take. Including university, a paralegal apprenticeship or a solicitor apprenticeship. There is no right option, picking one of the three should be down to the personal preference of the budding law learner.
University is full of options, especially when it comes to narrowing down the course that you want to do. Depending on the preference of the student, to have a career in law, you can either study a law degree or non-law degree – although those who decide to study a non-law degree will face the hurdle of studying the seven foundations of legal practices, a GDL, so when it’s combined with a non-law degree, it’s equivalent to a law degree.
After completing your A-levels, this 23-30-month course could be the perfect route for you. Although this is a brilliant opportunity as it is, it can then lead you onto training to become a Chartered Legal Executive. To participate in this type of scheme, usually you are required to have the minimum of five GCSEs grading A*-C and three A-Levels that are graded C or above – or the equivalent. You will be able to learn law, legal practice, legal skills, commercial skills and professional conduct by entering this type of apprenticeship.
It is also worthy to know you can do a paralegal apprenticeship after your intermediate apprenticeship if you decide not to go down the A-Level route after completing your GCSE studies.
Those who want to dive straight into the working world, a solicitor apprenticeship might be the best direction for you. A solicitor apprenticeship is a paid six-year course which will enable you to gain on the job training which you will later receive a qualification to become a solicitor and at the end of the fourth year, you will receive a law degree. To be in a chance of winning a place on this sort of scheme, you usually need the minimum of five GCSEs graded A*-C and three A-Levels (graded C or above). Work experience always plays in favour with candidates that apply for this type of apprenticeship. Once this apprenticeship has ended, you are a qualified solicitor, legal executive and paralegal.
Forth Stage – After completing university with a GDL
Once you’ve completed your law degree (or equivalent with GDL), there are three different routes that you can go down depending on what position you want to have: Barrister, Solicitor or Legal Executive.
This stands for the Bar Professional Training Course, one route to becoming a barrister. Although, once you have completed this course, you can proceed to become either a solicitor or a legal executive. To become a barrister, you will then need to complete a ‘pupillage’ which is a one-year apprenticeship before you qualify as a barrister. You will be working with a pupil supervisor. To become a solicitor, after completing your BPTC you will need a training contract, which is basically a two-year paid employment contract with a law firm before gaining your qualification as a solicitor. For those wanting to become a legal executive, you are required to carry out three years of qualifying employment.
After completing university, you could move on to a Legal Practice Course – a vocational stage of becoming a solicitor. This will allow you to become a legal executive, although once you’ve finished your LPC, you will need to carry out three years of qualifying employment.
CILEx Fast Track
For those who have completed their law degree in the past seven years, CILEx Fast Track offers a graduate diploma as opposed to a Level 3 or 6. This usually takes around nine months to do at a part-time rate. Once you’ve finished this, you will then need to complete three years of qualifying employment and you will be qualified as a chartered legal executive lawyer.
So, it’s time for you to make the decision. Which path will you be travelling down to become one of the top lawyers in the country? Remember that all of your grades count – so make the most of your education and you will have a career in law in no time.