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Posted May 27, 2016

How Studying Law Can Prepare You For An Alternative Career

What if you have completed a law degree and then find yourself in a position where you are not inclined to pursue a legal career? You may find yourself wondering what alternative career options you have with a law degree. Well it’s good news as a law degree allows you to develop many key transferable skills such as writing, drafting, research, negotiation, problem solving, communication and analytical skills, which may all be applied while choosing to pursue an alternate career path. This means that law students are valued by employers due to these skills. In this blog we suggest some alternatives to pursuing a strictly legal career as a solicitor or a barrister.


You may choose to work as a para legal, researcher or a legal secretary within a law firm. These jobs usually require some knowledge of law and research and writing skills but may not be as demanding as working as a solicitor or a barrister. These jobs are also a great idea to undertake while hunting for a job as a barrister or a solicitor in order to gain some experience.


The legal publishing industry represents an opportunity for students to make a career using written and research skills. Broadly speaking, roles can be divided into editorial; production; sales & marketing; rights. Graduate first jobs include editorial assistant; copy editor; production assistant; rights assistant; sales representative. There may also be work involved writing & updating the content of legal websites.


The work of a company secretary includes ensuring that organisations comply with company law and regulations, maintaining records about the organisation, preparing reports and keeping directors up to date with legal developments. These roles are usually filled by individuals who have some legal knowledge and background.


Tax consultants offer advice to businesses or private clients on particular tax problems or ongoing cost-effective tax solutions. New tax legislation is implemented from time to time so a background in analysing legal changes is useful. Tax consultancies, including the Big 4 accountancy firms, seek graduates in law as well as accounting, tax or business. They look for evidence of problem solving, persuasion, gaining the trust of clients and organisational skills during their recruitment process.


Working for the civil services essentially means working for a government department. The Civil Service Fast Stream in the UK offers approximately 700 graduate vacancies each year in a wide range of Civil Service departments. Fast streamers move between projects and sections within their departments and take up postings in other departments and agencies. Application is via an online process with an annual deadline in early November, and recruiters are on the look out for an ability to work under pressure, as well as attention to detail and commercial awareness. These are all traits which are encouraged on a law degree course.


Compliance officers take care of a company’s financial conduct (ensuring it complies with regulations and principles) and its reporting (providing financial information to the regulator). Since these roles deal with ensuring compliance of legal regulations law students are well equipped for these roles, which are available within the compliance departments of all large banks and financial organisations.

The above list presents some ideas law students might wish to consider. There are also plenty of other options such as management consultants, investment banking, roles in insurance companies, journalism, working for NGOs, law clerkships, etc etc. 


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