Legal careers: options after your LLM program

Options after your LLM (Master of Laws) programLaw is a popular course for undergraduate and postgraduate study, with the result that the pool of people with
legal qualifications is getting larger. If you want to get ahead in law than a Master of Laws will be a useful addition to your CV. There are, however, other career options that you may wish to consider that your LLM (Master of Laws) could also help you with. And with competition for legal jobs getting stiffer, a career plan that may not necessarily lie within the core legal industry, but hovers on the fringes of it could be a seriously good option for you. If you’re keen to continue in the legal profession that’s great but if you’d rather put your legal qualification to use in a broader sense, then read on for some essential career advice.

Think about what you enjoy

A good starting point is being true to yourself about what keeps you engaged when it comes to work. There’s no point slogging away in a law firm if you find it boring – life is too short! Besides, it won’t be long before your employer senses that your enthusiasm is flagging.

Justice: If your interest lies in the justice system as a whole then you could consider working with the police, or in the probation system, or as a social worker if you like to get directly involved, or working in the formulation of social policy if you’re more interested in influencing longer term outcomes.

Environment: A passion for activism could be doubled with an LLM (Master of Laws) in Environmental Law and lead to a career either working for the government in the formulation of environmental policy or, if you prefer a non-profit working environment, then perhaps you could work for eco-focused charities, where an LLM in Energy Law could also be useful particularly in terms of renewable energy. 

Compliance and Communications: One of the widest fields to work in is regulatory affairs and compliance, which offers a broad scope since most industries are regulated in one way or another. If you have an LLM in Intellectual Property or Media Law and are keen on communications then the communications regulatory body could be an option. If, on the other hand, you prefer to get involved in actual communications, then you could consider a job in broadcasting or publishing. In addition to the non-legal publishing industry there are many print and online publications, which service and support law firms, in particular, and the justice system as a whole.

Civil Service: With an LLM in Consumer or Competition Law perhaps a civil service career regulating trading standards might interest you? Alternatively, you could work for a Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) company as an in-house adviser.

Healthcare and Human Resources: An LLM in Medical Law or IT and Communications law provides career opportunities at the regulatory agencies for the healthcare and technology sectors, while an LLM in Employment Law could be put to use in human resources, where you could work in legal recruitment, although an LLM in any specialty would come in handy in recruitment. 

Business: Having an LLM in Business Law could put you in a good position to pursue a career as a company secretary, provided you go ahead to earn the required professional qualifications, because law and / or business degrees are considered attractive for company secretary positions. If your first degree happens to be in business, economics or management then your attractiveness as a candidate would be greatly enhanced.

Whether you did your LLM right after your first degree or after years of work experience, your postgrad legal qualification can support your ambition to make a subtle change in career direction or leap into a completely new and exciting field.

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