Jobs for law students outside of the legal sector
23rd March 2020
During a law degree, somewhere along the way, you will be asked what route of law you’ll want to pursue. From very early on you will have had to demonstrate your determination to be a lawyer, a solicitor, a barrister - any role that you may wish to become. However, it is common to achieve a degree in law or a graduate diploma in law and not want to pursue a career in the legal sector. This is sometimes due to the competition of some legal jobs in London as well as other reasons like location and finance. So, what can you do with your law degree instead?
This article will suggest some of the career paths that can be traversed with a law degree or similar qualifications, that are not strictly in the legal sector.
In any recruiting job, there is a need to understand the market. In this case, a general understanding of the law is needed to be able to match people with the right job. You may find that you have the skills to find the right people for certain sectors such as paralegals, in-house or the public sector. Those good qualities that you learnt in your studies may help you to find the right people for the job. If you have an eye for detail and can get a feeling for a person quickly, legal recruitment may be a good job for you. Contact Law Absolute if you think this is something that interests you. Their recruitment specialists are among the very best in the business.
A company secretary is another very popular job prospect for someone who doesn’t wish to pursue the traditional legal sector pathway. A company secretary helps companies comply with the financial and legal requirements within the business. These are high standards of corporate governance and is a high responsibility to anyone in the role. Although it is not legal advice, there is a need for the understanding of law due to the high level of responsibility. If you are interested in business and financial law this could be a role for you to look into.
Within HMRC there are many departments that you can work in with an interest in law. Whether you have a legal degree or not, there are many options for starting a career within HMRC. This includes apprentices and fast track apprentices, graduate tax professional programmes, and specialists in HMRC digital.
Within HMRC, they collect tax for public services like schools, hospitals and the police. They are responsible for collecting taxes from more than 50 million people and more than five million business every year. They also pay out benefits, statuary pay and protect the national minimum and living wage, making sure the people that need it get the right help. Working for HMRC can be greatly rewarding for the right people. If you want to work in analysis, communications, legal services or finance, this could be a great fit for you
Working as a civil servant means working for a government agency. This could be local or national depending on the sort of role you are interested in. Like working in HMRC, you can achieve this through apprenticeship programmes and fast stream programmes for those who have graduated. There are many different departments that are involved when working in the civil service that will allow you to use your law degree. This can be transport, education or defence however, many departments offer opportunities to use your knowledge of the law. Being a civil servant is an interesting career for a law degree holder as it covers a wide range of departments that you may have come across in your studies.
If you are interested in a job in the civil service, many of their departments have their own specialist agencies to deal with certain special subjects so it might be worth looking at what part of the civil service interests you most first, before you begin to apply.
Border Enforcement involves a lot of learning on the job. Your previous knowledge of the law will help with this as you will already have basic knowledge of certain laws that border enforcement deal with. It is under the Home Office’s department and focuses on customs control and immigration, working with people and goods going in and out of the country. They work with any rail, sea or air transportation as well as many marinas, airstrips and ports. There are many strategic objectives that a role in Border Enforcement can lead you to, including counterterrorism and human trafficking. On their website, they say that as a border enforcer “it means emotional resilience, commitment, discipline and respect are key. You’ve got to be calm and professional under trying circumstances and enjoy being part of a team”.
Within the role of conveyancing, you would be responsible for the buying and selling of certain client’s properties. A conveyancer helps with the settlement and title transfer process with property buying and selling. You are also responsible for making sure that the client meets all the legal obligations during the transaction and that their rights are protected throughout. This process is done by both parties (buyer and seller) as each will have different obligations to carry out during the contract of sale. Many tasks that the conveyancer has to complete include drawing up documents, legal advice, and arranging the settlements.
If you are interested in property law, this could be the role for you as it involves working very closely with the law.
Even if you cannot find your place in a job that is connected to law, there are many transferable skills within law and legal training that can be taken to any occupation. Skills like negotiation that are developed during your degree, are vital when talking to employees about your contract. Being able to successfully negotiate wages or hours can be important in any role as well, as it develops your communication skills. The use of problem-solving and working under pressure is well sought after in many other careers and can be used in day-to-day life.
When speaking to a formerly law-trained blogger, My Adventures Across The World, she told us “I started my travel blog in 2015, after abandoning a career in human rights law. I went as far as getting a PhD in Law at the University of Essex and after having worked in academia in both the United Kingdom and Italy, I moved from the field almost entirely and, after having spent a year on the road, I opened a travel blog.
“I never regret having pursued a law degree. In fact, I strongly believe that a law degree gives you some of the most transferable skills you can hope for. My research and writing skills, my analytical skills, help enormously in the creating phases of travel blogging, and the organization skills I have acquired with my studies and previous career help me (and help me help others) draft fabulous trip itineraries for their perfect holidays”.
If you’re having difficulties finding your next job opportunity in London but you don’t know what pathway to choose, speak to some out our top legal recruitment specialists at Law Absolute.