Valued at £37 bn, the UK legal services market is the international standard for most countries. The UK has 150,000 practising solicitors and more than 10,000 law firms, providing many career opportunities.
Careers include different types of paralegals, corporate legal secretaries, solicitors, lawyers, magistrate judges, and barristers. Legal careers often focus on a specific area such as personal injury, property, immigration, administrative, or financial law.
If you are starting a law career, you will find work within private, professional practices, local or central government, or within an industrial or commercial organisation.
You will interpret the law and be directly in contact with clients, which might be individuals or a commercial entity. Through the many different positions, you may find yourself solely working on an administrative task, writing wills and contracts, attending court, or resolving disputes.
Barristers represent clients in court, present cases, provide legal advice, and negotiate settlements. Paralegals offer legal services but do not need to be a qualified barrister, solicitor, or chartered legal executive.
You may need a law degree or a diploma in law to start your career. For example, to become a chartered legal executive, you will need to complete the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives training program.
Salaries are as varied as the number of career paths. A corporate legal secretary with experience earns on average £34,000, progressing to £69,500, once their career is fully established. A litigation paralegal will typically earn £24,000, rising to £36,500 at the top of the field.
The demands of a legal job suit those who like to work hard, with attention to detail and an excellent work ethic. You will certainly find yourself working with others, either in a team environment or through meetings and consultations. Communication, organisation, research, information analysis, and commercial awareness will all be central to your role.
A career can take you in many directions. In many roles, workers thrive on one day, never being the same as the next.
You should have a high level of intellect with great people skills and legal knowledge. You will need to bring a methodical approach to your work and have problem-solving, IT, numerical, and written skills.
If you are up for the challenge, a career in legal services could give you the fulfilment you are searching for.