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Alternative Careers

Discover Alternative Careers

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As of January 2024, there were 9,339 solicitors firms practising in England and Wales, with over 93,000 solicitors working in private practice. In terms of the Bar, as of 2023 Q2, there were around 37,100 barristers and judges.

These two areas provide a home for most lawyers in the UK. But not everyone who successfully completes the academic stages decides to go into private practice – there are many career options open to those with law qualifications.

Many go on to work as lawyers in other organisations (in-house lawyers) or for any number of other organisations that employ legal services.

Find out what it’s like to train in-house in local government in this podcast episode.

Legal training is a valuable commodity outside the world of solicitors and barristers. So, it’s common to see law graduates or past trainees using the skills they’ve developed during their training or legal academia without actually practising as a lawyer.

If you’re a law graduate who isn’t actively pursuing a legal career, don’t worry because there are many employers that’ll value the skills you’ve learned along the way.

We’ve also put together a list of six other alternative careers for law graduates in this Feature.

These skills include, but aren’t limited to, the ability to:

  • research;
  • be discreet;
  • collect and analyse large amounts of information;
  • weigh up points and counter points;
  • create a logical argument;
  • handle and work under pressure;
  • reach a reasonable conclusion from a set of facts; and
  • communicate clearly with the public and legal professionals.

Having a first-class memory is another sought-after skill. Overall, all these attributes are valued in the general career market.

In this section you can find information on:

  • different career options available for those with legal training;
  • opportunities to still practise as a lawyer, but not within private practice;
  • law-related jobs (eg, paralegal, outdoor clerk and legal executive); and
  • non-law-related jobs (eg, civil servant, academic or coroner).