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Things you shouldn’t worry about as a non-law student

Things you shouldn’t worry about as a non-law student

Chantal Elian


When I first considered pursuing a career in law after completing my non-law degree, it was an exciting time but my head was also full of questions and worries. I didn’t know anybody who was considering the same path or had taken on the Graduate Diploma in Law and I was unsure where to start.

There is so much to learn along the way and having now been an official law student for more than one year, I am still learning so much. There is no rush to know everything before you begin and a lot of the things you do know about the legal world will make a lot more sense as you progress.

Looking back, I realise that a lot of the things I was worried about were not as bad as I had initially thought, so I want to share a few of these in case anyone else is worrying about them too. Whether you have the same worries or not, hopefully this blog will offer some reassurance that you are not alone and that a lot of things are never as bad as they may first seem!      

Everybody is equal

One of my initial worries was that having no previous legal knowledge or experience might make it hard for me to keep up with students who had been on the legal path for a few years already. Try to remember that everybody has more to offer than their degree subject alone and you will get your chance to study the legal knowledge in future.

Don’t hesitate to ask questions. If you are worried you just don’t understand because you are a non-law student, remember that nobody expects you to know everything legal-related straight away. When the legal world says it welcomes and values non-law students, it really does mean it – so try not to overthink. There are more similarities than differences and you will have a lot more in common with law students during the process than you think.

Lots of things will change, but not everything

There are inevitably a lot of new experiences and changes heading your way, but they are not as sudden and drastic as they might sometimes feel. Whether it’s starting a law course or researching firms and becoming commercially aware for the next steps, try to remember that you won’t be starting completely from scratch.

After studying your undergraduate degree, reading, researching, making notes and revising will all be very familiar concepts to you and while the subject matter might be different and a few adjustments may be needed, it will not be as different as you might think. Equally, in making the decision to pursue a career in law, you will have already started doing the right research into the profession and the process, and if you are reading this blog then you are looking on the right websites too.

The changes that occur will also be exciting! Try to remember that everything new that you’re experiencing is happening to get you started on your legal career. Embrace the changes and look forward to all the new opportunities that will come with them.      

You will adapt

Whatever the situation or challenge, you will find that you are more adaptable than you think you are. It can be a big step away from what you have known for the past few years studying your undergraduate degree, but you will quickly adjust and find your feet.

Don’t forget that at some point everything that you are now comfortable and familiar with was once brand new – everything in the legal world will slowly become familiar too. Take every day as it comes, face any challenges with an open mind and you will surprise yourself with how capable you actually are.