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An Introduction to a Career in Law

Gavel ImageDid you know that even if you are not currently studying an undergraduate degree in law that you could still pursue a career as a solicitor or barrister? Many successful lawyers started there journey studying a different subject area, which can actually benefit you in terms of knowledge and life experience. If, as a non-law student, you are thinking about a career in law there are some things to consider:


  • Work Experience

If you are thinking of pursuing a career in law your first step should be to gain some relevant work experience. This could be in a solicitor’s office, a mini pupillage with a barristers’ chambers, shadowing a Judge, or a variety of other options.  The most important thing is to see what it is like actually working in the legal profession. Not only will this help you to discover if it is the right career path for you but it will also help when you come to make applications for legal study or work. If you are not sure about how to gain legal work experience come to our talk during Law Week on Legal Work Experience.

  • GDL

If you decide that a career in law is for you then the Graduate Diploma in Law is a one year full-time, or two years part-time, conversion course that will give you the same access to further legal training as those studying an undergraduate law degree. You can apply for the GDL during your final year of study as there is rolling recruitment but getting your application in early will mean there are more places available. It will also show the admissions tutor that you are motivated and organised. If you are applying for a full time GDL you will complete an application on the Law Cabs website. If you decide to apply for part time study you would apply directly to the university you wish to study at. To find out more about the GDL including when and how to apply why not come to our Law for Non Law students talk.

  • LPC or BPTC

Having completed the GDL programme you will need to choose what legal path you wish to follow; do you prefer the role of a barrister or a solicitor? Hopefully you will have had work experience in both areas that will have helped you make this decision. If you decide that you want to become a solicitor then you will need to complete a Legal Practice Course and then go on to secure a training contract in order to fully qualify as a solicitor. To become a barrister you would continue onto the Bar Professional Training Course and then complete a pupillage to in order to fully qualify as a barrister.

Find out more about gaining work experience, the GDL, LPC, BPTC, training contracts and pupillages during Law Week – 19th to 23rd November 2012 – see the full programme of activities on CareerHub now.


Image Credit: Jason Morrison


Helen Meyer photograph

Helen Meyer is a Careers Adviser in the Careers and Placements Service at the University of Hertfordshire

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