Before you embark on any course, whether that be an online course or a university degree it is important that you know what you want to do with this qualification once you have finished. Only then can you tailor your skillset to improve your odds of getting your dream job.
This same concept applies to law qualifications. While the most obvious step would be to become a solicitor or barrister, this career choice is not for everyone. In fact, you might find that you want to do something else entirely.
To help you get started and firm up your decisions, here are the most popular jobs you can currently explore after completing an online law course/degree:
- Solicitor – these usually work for law firms supplying legal advice to clients on top of representing individuals or companies in court. NOTE: there are many branches you can explore, and when qualifying as a solicitor you’ll be expected to have specialisms in two fields;
- Barrister – these are a step up from a solicitor and are specialists who provide advice to solicitors on complex areas of law. On occasion they will represent clients in court. NOTE: this is a very competitive field, with only 16,000 barristers currently in the UK (compared to the 140,000+ solicitors);
- Chartered Legal Executive – this type of lawyer is able to do all the work of a solicitor but must have the supervision of a principal. Likewise, they usually only specialise in one area of law, and not two like solicitors;
- In-house lawyers – big firms and even some areas of the government like to hire their own in-house lawyers to help provide them with counsel and advice that is specific to their needs/requirements;
- Mediator – for those who don’t like the idea of speaking in court, then there is mediation. Here, your job is to act as a mediator between two disputing parties until they reach a mutually acceptable agreement. In addition, you would be expected to offer impartial services to both sides and must remain unbiased throughout. NOTE: mediators often have additional skills/qualifications in counselling and psychology;
- Compliance specialist – with this role you would be expected to ensure that companies are adhering to all external laws and regulatory requirements, so that they don’t break the law or suffer fines;
- Chartered legal executive – these are qualified professionals who specialise in certain areas of law. With this knowledge, they can give advice to clients. NOTE: to perform this role you must belong to the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives;
- Court messenger – the purpose of this role is to help court proceedings and ensure that they run smoothly. This is achieved by carrying out specific tasks such as running messages, organising papers and being entrusted with data;
- Legal secretary – within this position you would provide administrative support to lawyers. Tasks include drafting legal documents, organising work and scheduling clients. NOTE: legal secretaries do not directly advise clients, but act as a first point of contact between clients and law firms;
- Paralegal – working in law firms, paralegals are expected to complete an array of legal tasks such as preparing legal documents and interacting with clients. Although they cannot directly advise clients; their experience, knowledge and skills is essential for the success of law firms;
- Judge – at the top of the legal food chain, the role of a Judge is to decide the outcome of legal cases brought to court. NOTE: to apply for this role you must have practised as a solicitor or barrister for a minimum of 5-7 years.
As you can see, there are many avenues you can explore within the legal industry. So if you’re interested in stepping into this world, then why not consider enrolling onto an online law course?
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