Legal and Law Industry Guide

Are you a stickler for the finer details? Do you regularly debate with your parents over how tidy your bedroom should be or whether you really should be emptying the dishwasher (and can you backup your argument with evidence)? Then perhaps you should look into an exciting career in the legal industry.

Careers at the UK’s biggest law firms

The UK’s legal sector includes internal legal departments within larger organisations that advise on legal issues, as well as law firms themselves. The major legal firms in the UK are informally known as the ‘Magic Circle’ and include Linklaters, Freshfields and Allen & Overy.

What do people working in the legal sector do?

There are a range of processes that would require legal assistance or advice from firms like these, including property, divorce, business, commercial and criminal law cases.

However, working in the legal industry is not all about court rooms and shouting while wearing a wig, although if you choose to be a barrister in the Crown Court then this could be a regular part of your day.

Put simply, law is about the regulation of our society and the maintenance of the structures that keep us civilised, without which chaos would ensue.

Legal apprenticeships, school leaver programmes and career paths

Level 4 legal apprenticeships were launched in March 2013 and are equivalent to the first year of a degree, and for the first time this means young people and school leavers can follow a legal apprenticeship pathway to becoming a qualified paralegal!

The following careers are probably the two most well-known roles within the legal industry:

Barrister – A solicitor would refer a client to a barrister when they cannot deal with the case themselves. A barrister rarely has direct contact with the client, but is required to stand up in court to defend the client.

Solicitor – Deals with the client’s concerns on a daily basis, answering correspondence and managing daily administrative tasks. A solicitor will deal with the majority of client concerns, although when the case becomes too complicated they refer the client to a barrister who will proceed with it alongside the solicitor.

However, while these are the most well known jobs in the UK legal industry (along with judges of course) there are many other opportunities within the legal sector, including legal secretaries, legal clerks, legal assistants and so on.

A legal apprenticeship that takes place in the law sector could give you qualification like a ‘Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice’ or a ‘Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice’, both of which can lead to qualifying as a lawyer.

A career path in law can be as well paid as one in banking and, although it will involve a lot of hard work, long hours and high pressure, the rewards can be great for those who progress and go far in the UK’s legal industry.

The following are examples of legal apprenticeships and school leaver programmes offered by companies operating in the law sector:

Kennedys – level 2 apprenticeship in business and administration, legal pathway, level 3 apprenticeship in legal services

DAC Beachcroft – level 3 apprenticeship in legal services

Pinsent Masons – gap year programme in commercial law

Get personalised jobs straight to your inbox

Save time job hunting - get tailored job opportunities sent straight to you!