The route into law that I’d like to couple up with is…
There are so many different ways to get in to the legal profession and it's difficult to know which one to go for.
Knowing which route is best for you can almost make you feel as though you're on Love Island, deciding which islander you want to couple up with. You don't know if you're making the right decision or if it's the best thing for you.
There is of course the most common route, from GCSE’s to A-levels, onto an undergraduate degree at university, postgraduate LPC, then a training contract and, two years later, you're qualified as a solicitor. Simple! The islander who you coupled up with at the start stays with you for the whole series and takes you to the final!
Of course, for some people, this route isn't so easy or straightforward. You may have to take a different path, and perhaps not in the ‘right’ order. Although, hopefully these alternatives won’t be as dramatic as Casa Amour!
After my GCSE’s, I completed my A-levels, then studied an undergraduate degree in Law and Journalism with Media Cultures at University. I achieved the grade I wanted (2:1) but I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted to do next. As law was still my main interest, and I didn’t have a full-time job, I decided to apply for the LPC.
I appreciate that tuition fees were much cheaper when I was a student (2008-2012). Cost is a massive factor in deciding which pathway you take but if I could give one bit of advice, I would say please don't let the fees of undergraduate university degrees put you off. You only pay them back once you start earning enough. University was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Of course university isn't for everyone. Along with money concerns, you might want to take time out for yourself or your family, to travel, or to work, before deciding your next steps and/or if you want to work in law. There are also conversion courses including the GDL and CILEx, or you can work as a paralegal if you want an alternative to A-Levels/ University.
Whilst studying for my LPC, I had a part time office job and volunteered at my local Citizens Advice Bureau, so that I kept my ties to law.
After working at an office for a while, I still wanted to work in a legal environment and was fortunate enough to get an interview for a legal secretary position in the Commercial Property department at Crane and Staples. They offered me the job (I’ve got a text!... Message!) and I was so pleased to finally be working in a law firm. I had gone for other interviews in other legal environments but it is so difficult to get a job without experience, when you need experience to be offered a job!
I started working at Crane & Staples in 2015 and this has confirmed that Commercial Property is the area of law I am interested in. Consequently, I don't feel a training contract would be the right choice for me, so I've become a graduate member for CILEx and am working towards qualifying as a Chartered Legal Executive.
There is also the option, after qualifying with CILEx, to continue studying to then be admitted as a solicitor with the SRA so I could also do this if I wanted to further down the line.
Navigating your way through the legal profession is not always easy, but please remember that there isn’t just one route to take. Choose (or couple up with!) the route that's best for you, “it is what it is” after all!
#legal #career #nowrongpath