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        Express Solicitors
        £24,750 per annum
        Added 4 days ago
        Ashdown Group
        East Molesey
        £20,000 - £25,000 per annum
        Added 10 days ago
        McKinlay Law
        £30,000 per annum
        Added 21 days ago
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        Helping you find a career in law

        If you get a kick out of helping people and seeing justice served, a career in law might be for you.

        But what does a lawyer actually do?

        Firstly, the word 'lawyer' is an umbrella term used to describe both solicitors and barristers.

        The clearest difference between solicitors and barristers is that solicitors perform the majority of their work outside the court, whilst barristers represent their clients within it.

        At lower stages of the court process solicitors will represent their clients in court, whilst barristers work at the higher levels of the legal system.

        At the highest levels of court, solicitors and barristers work together. Solicitors gather information and barristers prepare the arguments and present them before a judge.

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        Skills required for a career in the Law industry

        You'll need an extensive set of skills. You'll need an analytical mind. You need to be organised, calm, and have the ability to process a large amount of complex information very quickly. You'll also need tact, diplomacy and impeccable interpersonal skills.

        Other essential skills include:

        Typical Law career progression routes

        As you gain more experience, you can decide to specialise in one particular area of the law. This is one way that you can elevate your career, giving you a better chance of becoming a judge.

        You can also progress by moving to larger, prestigious law firms with high profile clients and better salaries.

        Typical Career Development for the Law industry

        To build your standing within the sector, you can take the Higher Rights of Audience qualification, which allows solicitors to represent their clients in civil or criminal court as a solicitor-advocate.

        There are also courses you can do if you plan to specialise in a certain area of the law, including a large number of diplomas and training programmes.

        The Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) course is taken by many qualified lawyers, and covers your essential Continuing Professional Development (CPD) qualification.

        The University of Law explains that the purpose of the CPD to keep you “up-to-date with the latest legislative developments” as well as allowing you to “expand your skills, improve your capabilities and build a successful and satisfying career.”

        How much do Law professionals get paid?

        The legal profession is known for paying exceptionally well. Although this might not be true at the start of your career.

        You can earn between £25,000 and £40,000, as a trainee solicitor. The higher paying firms tend to reside within the City of London.

        Once you're qualified, your salary should rise. Many firms in the City of London are known to pay solicitors up to £65,000,. Your salary can even reach £100,000 depending on who you work for.

        Trainee barristers can earn up tp £50,000 during their year of pupillage, although legally chambers are only required to pay £12,000.

        Barrister salaries can reach very high amounts. With five years' experience, you can earn between £50,000 and £200,000,. With 10 or more years' experience, your salary can reach £1 million.

        What qualifications do I need for a Law career

        You don't need a law degree to become a lawyer. Any subject that demonstrates a deep level of thought will be attractive to a law firm.

        Your first step after university will be to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) if your degree isn't in law, or to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) if it is.

        How to get there

        Work experience is essential. Contact law firms directly to ask if you can come in for work experience or to shadow an existing member of staff in your free time.

        You can also become an active member of your university's debate team and Law Society. These societies will give you good practice for the challenges you're likely to face when you're a lawyer.

        The path to becoming a lawyer is clearly defined for both solicitors and barristers.


        If you haven't studied law at university you'll need to complete a GDL. You can apply for this during your final year of university.

        After completing your GDL, you'll need to complete an LPC, which will give you the technical knowledge you need to work in the sector.

        If you are studying law, you can apply for an LPC in your third year or straight after your degree. Applications open on LawCabs in October.

        Your LPC will take one academic year. You should apply for a training contract with a law firm during this time. Training contracts usually last two years.

        Whether you're studying law at university or not, you should boost your chances of success by using the holidays to get work experience via vacation schemes in law firms.


        To become a barrister you'll need to pass the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC), which lasts one year. You can apply for this while you're at university.

        You'll need to join one of the four Inns of Court before you take the BPTC (you may be able to get a scholarship through them). Joining one of the Inns can give you access to information and networking opportunities that can increase your chances of getting a pupillage later.

        Whilst completing (or after you've completed) the BPTC, you'll need to secure a pupillage. A pupillage is a place within barristers' chambers, and is compulsory to become a practising barrister.

        The application process is tough, so you might not get in first time round, don't be put off if this happens! At the end of your pupillage, the chambers will decide whether you can work there as a “tenant”.

        Law further reading

        All About Law
        Legal Futures
        The Law Society
        Chambers Student