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Employment law can be divided broadly into contentious and non-contentious areas. Contentious work includes dealing with Employment Tribunal claims, negotiating settlement (often through ACAS) and, where no settlement is reached, Employment Tribunal advocacy. Non-contentious matters include advising on employment aspects of company sales, Private Finance Initiative work, handling redundancies and drafting employment contracts and policies.
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What you can expect?
Employment law is more legally technical than other areas of law and you'll need excellent research skills. The ability to communicate the law clearly and simply to clients, both orally and in writing, is also crucial.
Another important part of an employment lawyer's work is advising clients on day-to-day human resources issues such as employees' statutory rights and disciplinary proceedings.
The work/life balance for employment lawyers is good as there is usually a steady flow of work rather than the peaks and troughs more frequently experienced by transactional lawyers. Starting salaries vary from region to region. Employment is one of the more popular areas of law, and there is plenty of competition for jobs.
Tips for success
You will need:
- Communication skills
- Advocacy skills
- Negotiation skills
- Research & analytical skills
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