A law degree is a gateway to a career as a solicitor or barrister, but it's not the only path you can choose. Many options are available to you beyond the legal profession
Jobs directly related to your degree include:
Chartered legal executive (England and Wales)
Jobs where your degree would be useful include:
Civil Service administrator
Forensic computer analyst
Human resources officer
Trading standards officer
Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here
Relevant work experience demonstrates to employers that you have the skills that they are looking for.
If you'd like to get some work experience that is directly related to the legal profession, you could do a mini-pupillage. This involves work shadowing that usually lasts for one week in a set of chambers. Details of this can be found at the Pupillage Gateway. You can also search in solicitor's firms for law vacation placements.
You could try marshalling - shadowing a judge, usually for anything between one day and one week - or pro-bono work, through organisations such as the:
Citizens Advice Bureau
Free Representation Unit
Joining your university law society will also be helpful, as well as anything else that gives you an insight into legal practices and the workings of the law.
For more information on relevant placements, see law work experience and law vacation schemes.
If you'd like to consider something outside of the legal profession then work experience in property development, the banking and financial sector, or HR departments in businesses can be useful. Taking on positions of responsibility through student groups provides good experience.
If you qualify as a solicitor, you can work in a number of different legal practices. The widest caseloads come from high street solicitors' practices, which cover criminal, family, probate and business law. Opportunities are available through local and national government and large organisations often have in-house legal teams. Take a look at the
If you become a barrister, it's likely you'll be self-employed and will be a tenant in a set of chambers. Alternatively, you could look for employment with organisations such as the Government Legal Service, the Armed Forces legal services or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).Outside of the legal profession employers can include banks and building societies, insurance companies and HR departments of large firms.
Skills for your CV
A law degree covers the foundation subjects that are required for entry into the legal professions. But the understanding of legal implications and obligations, combined with the ability to apply this knowledge in practice, is valuable in many parts of the public, private and voluntary sectors.
The range of skills that a law degree provides includes:
research skills using a range of sources, including verbal questioning
evaluation skills and the ability to interpret and explain complex information clearly
reasoning and critical judgement skills
the ability to formulate sound arguments
lateral thinking and problem-solving skills
the ability to write concisely
confident and persuasive oral communication skills
attention to detail and the ability to draft formal documents with precision.