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A law degree and legal training are highly sought after by employers and members of the legal profession. The fact that you’re training to work in a desirable profession to do high-quality regulated work at the highest level makes you an attractive prospect.
To find out what graduate recruiters find attractive in applications, read LCN’s Meet the Recruiter profiles.
There are numerous employers who enable you to apply your skills and expertise in a role such as private practice firms, in-house departments and other legal businesses. Jobs like will writing and places like conveyancing firms and legal tech companies have created roles for paralegals and junior lawyers.
To find out about the work of paralegals, read this LCN Feature: ‘Paralegal work: a guide for future solicitors.’
So, there are plenty of options as to where you can go for practice and experience and plenty of options for where you see yourself long term.
If you step back and look at what goes into legal training, you’ll notice that a lot of the skills you gain aren’t necessarily exclusive to a career in law. They may seem so because you’re working towards a goal that brings you into the legal profession itself, maybe a degree or Legal Practice Course or a support role or training contract, and so it will have that “flavour”. But everything you learn is highly transferable.
To find out more about key transferable skills, visit this LCN page that highlights a set of skills which are highly transferable to law.
Just like you can find transferrable skills from non-law jobs to bring to your legal job or applications, a lot of the skills you learn in legal practice jobs or studying can also be transferred to a non-law role or a role where you can still service the profession.
To find out the value of transferable skills, read this LCN Blog.
Some of these skills could include:
So, if you want a new challenge later down the line, where could you use the skills you can gain from your legal training?
Legal tech roles are becoming more commonplace now, and some legal tech companies employ practising lawyers and paralegals. This makes sense because if legal tech roles are going to be servicing the legal profession, then an experienced practitioner can advise on any regulatory obligations. This is because they will be aware of the barriers that will help the company, how to draft documents effectively and will be aware of their client’s needs and goals.
This LCN Blog outlines how to become tech savvy: ‘Becoming legal tech savvy’.
Some legal tech roles can include contract automation, legal chatbots, legal AI, the use of blockchain to simplify transactions, and we’re seeing firms such as Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy LLP adopting AI software to take advantage of the benefits that legal tech brings to lawyers and the profession.
This Oracle shares useful tips about how to get ahead by learning about legal tech.
Some skills used include commercial awareness of clients’ needs and goals, subject area knowledge of regulatory issues, problem solving to make services even more efficient, communication and legal/commercial writing when delivering services to clients and partners
Visit LCN’s Commercial awareness hub for weekly news round-ups, podcast episodes, videos and more!
HR professionals are responsible for duties such as recruitment, employee training, benefits, managing relationships, and any legal responsibilities in employment law. They also get involved with developing policies and procedures, employment law advice, disputes and disciplinaries, and ensuring the company’s HR strategy and business goals align.
Some skills used include subject area knowledge in employment law, commercial awareness to stay up to date with legislation, leadership, problem solving and negotiation to manage the unsavoury processes like disciplinaries and grievances, and advocacy if the company is called before the employment tribunal.
Company secretaries advise the board of directors to ensure that the company complies with its financial and legal obligations. They are also involved with decision making processes to make sure the company’s strategy is compliant with regulatory and ethical standards.
Some skills used include company law knowledge, compliance around legal and regulatory obligations, leadership to ensure compliance, effective communication between the board and shareholders, commercial awareness to stay up to date with legislation, and drafting of documents like board minutes.
As a business owner, you’re in control of the company and of the work you take on. You can do everything yourself or hire staff or Directors to manage the day-to-day processes. You can still be employed in another role and own and manage your business too. In fact some of my friends do just this.
Some skills used: time management as there are so many hats to wear, marketing of your products/services, branding of who you and your company are, problem solving if a service doesn’t meet your client’s needs, leadership if you take on staff, and commercial awareness to understand your client’s needs and goals.
COLP stands for compliance officer for legal practice and every law firm has one. Their job is to ensure that the firm they’re working at is complying with the firm’s terms of authorization and the SRA’s regulatory arrangements. COLP ensures the employer follows a code of conduct and ensures that no member of staff is in breach of them.
Some skills used include compliance (obviously!), commercial awareness of regulatory obligations, leadership when advising lawyers of their obligations, attention to detail to ensure every lawyer remains compliant, and problem solving and ensuring compliance failures are dealt with effectively.
Article writing and blogging gives you a chance to show off your writing chops. As lawyers are expected to write several things a day, like emails and attendance notes, those skills can be easily transferred to a writing role. This could be for, say, the Law Society Gazette, legal newsletters, your own blogs, or online resource platforms like LawCareers.net.
Interested in legal blogging? Visit LCN’s Blogs.
Depending on the publisher/outlet for your articles, whether they take a more professional tone or a more approachable or accessible tone, article writing can be as personal and unique as you want it to be, based on your tone and style, and the topics for your writing, particularly around your own lived experiences or different perspectives on perceived norms in the legal profession.
Some skills used include research around a topic you’re writing about, commercial awareness to keep up to speed on current affairs, writing in an appropriate tone for your audience, time management to keep to any publishing schedules, and communicating the point of your article effectively.
Visit LCN’s commercial awareness hub to sharpen your commercial awareness.