Legal jobs can take you down any number of rewarding career routes. But whether you’re looking to start in a legal secretary role or want to go all the way and achieve your solicitor qualification, almost all jobs in law require comprehensive law courses. And that’s where we come in.
A legal career is one of the most popular paths you can take in professional services. Your day-to-day work is challenging and varied. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference to the lives of individuals – and society as a whole.
There is, and always will be, high demand for legal services, so a career in law will almost certainly always be a secure one. There’s high earning potential across the board, too – plus, the option to specialise in a wide range of fields. These are just a few reasons why so many choose to go down the legal career route.
However, as with all successful careers, a solid foundation is key. So if you hold an undergraduate law degree or law conversion course, StaySharp’s subscription to the SQE1 Preparation course provides the Functioning Legal Knowledge (FLK) that is required to pass the SQE1 assessments.
What legal jobs are there?
There are many options for those looking to kickstart a career in law. All roles require great people skills, strong attention to detail, and solid business acumen.
Frequently Asked Questions
Find answers to common questions about distance learning, accreditation, and course enrollment.
Solicitors are primarily office-based and will work in-house or at law firms. They tend to specialise in a particular area of law, such as criminal law, commercial law, employment law, family law, human rights law and many others. Their role is to provide expert advice to individuals or businesses.
A solicitor’s role is pretty broad – and will depend largely on the area you specialise in. You could be responsible for researching all aspects of a case, drafting legal documents such as a will, managing a personal injury claim, or negotiating as part of a divorce. If you’re a commercial lawyer, you could be dealing with everything from contracts and mergers to advising on tax law.
For trainee solicitors, the Law Society recommends a minimum of £23,703k in London and £21,024k for other areas. However, your average salary can vary a lot depending on whether you work for a big firm or a boutique firm, and where you’re based. Some trainees could earn up to £48k a year in London.
Barristers provide specialist legal advice in conferences and in writing. Since they usually specialise in specific aspects of law, they’ll often be instructed by solicitors to represent clients in court or tribunals – or, simply offer more expert advice in legal matters
Barristers will often become experts in specific fields, for example:
Chancery law (estates and trusts)
Common law (e.g., family, housing, and personal injury law)
Most qualified barristers will end up working in ‘chambers’, otherwise known as a ‘tenancy’. A set of barristers’ chambers are normally in the same offices, and this self-employed group of barristers will normally operate in specialist fields that complement one another. As part of their tenancy, barristers will pay towards the upkeep of the offices, as well as clerical and administrative support.
Barristers who don’t work in chambers can go on to work for a law firm, business or other organisation as ‘in-house counsel’, such as the CPS, or local or central government.
From January 2024, the minimum award set by the BSB is £23,078 for pupillages in London and £21,060 for everywhere else – both based on 12-month pupillages. Once you’re qualified, your salary will vary depending on the specialist areas you choose to work in. Commercial law barristers can earn upwards of £70k in their first year, with other areas of practice offering between £20-55k after pupillage.
Unlike legal secretaries, a paralegal will get much more involved in legal cases. As well as researching and drafting legal documents, you could be responsible for interviewing clients and witnesses, handling caseloads, and also going to court. Lots of paralegals go on to train as legal executives or solicitors.
To have a career as a paralegal, you’ll need great communication skills and attention to detail. You’ll need to have experience in administration, plus, good legal knowledge when it comes to court procedures and government regulations.
As a starting salary, you can expect to take home around £20k a year. However, more experienced paralegals can earn up to £40k per annum.
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