Find alternative legal careers
Alternative legal professions:
The following professions are all ones where you qualify as a lawyer – but just not as a solicitor or barrister.
- Chartered Legal Executives ⇒ CiLEX offer the chance to also qualify as a solicitor through further vocational training. They have a law graduate fast path to qualification also. Earn while they learn: http://www.cilex.org.uk/
- Relevant law degree modules: all of the Core modules; Clinic; any.
- Notary / Notary Public – this is the third oldest legal profession in the UK. A Notary ‘notarises’ documents for private individuals and for businesses which, essentially, means that they authenticate documents and signatures for use abroad. Notaries are also able to practice in non-contentious areas such as conveyancing and probate. For information about becoming a notary after law degree see https://www.thenotariessociety.org.uk/uploads/optimadmin/document/document/69/Leaflet_-_Guide_for_Law_Graduates.pdf For more information about this profession see: https://www.thenotariessociety.org.uk/pages/becoming-a-notary
- Relevant law degree modules: Land Law, Equity & Trusts; EU law; Public & Constitutional law; Contract; Company law; Succession/Law of the Dead Hand. Also useful is the Clinic Module so that you can learn how to work with clients and draft documents. Mental Health Law includes the study of ‘capacity’ which can be helpful but will also be covered in subsequent study.
- Scrivener Notary – This is a very small legal profession but one in which a number of Kent alumni are represented. Scrivener notaries are trained in advanced aspects of notarial practice and at least two foreign languages. Training requires legal and linguistic qualification and the work is very international and commercial in nature. Although training takes 4 years you work at the same time. Trainee positions are usually advertised on the firms’ own websites and are usually by way of CV and letter. This is not a long and complicated recruitment process but you will need to keep an eye on the firms’ websites for the entirety of your final year (and beyond) as there is no standard time when they will recruit – some firms seem to do it in autumn and others in spring; some may only recruit bi-annually. De Pinna is a firm that regularly recruits paralegals. There are only 4 firms to apply to so this is not an arduous task. You will be able to find out more, including links to the firms onhttps://scrivener-notaries.org.uk/scrivener-notaries/
- Relevant law degree modules: as for Notary above; modules with a commercial theme;
- ESSENTIAL – Languages. You must have two fluent languages as a minimum. There is a preference for European languages, Madarin, Turkish and Arabic.
- VACATION SCHEME opportunity – Kent students have access to the only known vacation scheme in this profession. It’ll be advertised via the Employability Bulletin and on Moodle in the spring term. It’s a paid opportunity with the possibility of extension to a summer long internship and also traineeship. If you are interested in this profession this is essential.
- Company Secretary ⇒ this is a strategic position of considerable influence at the heart of governance operations within an organisation. https://www.icsa.org.uk/professional-development/careers/being-a-company-secretary
- Relevant law degree modules: core modules; company law;
- Licensed Conveyancer ⇒ a specialist lawyer whom can do everything that a solicitor can do in a conveyancing transaction – they have the same legal authority to act. http://www.conveyancer.org.uk/trainee-lawyer/Conveyancing.aspx
- Relevant law degree modules: Land Law, Equity & Trusts; Contract;
- Arbitrator – https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/arbitrator
- Relevant law degree modules: ADR; Critical Legal Reasoning; Skills of Argument
- Costs Lawyer ⇒ ensure that a firm’s clients are properly charged for work undertaken. Completion of a two-year, learn-while-you-earn course is required to qualify: https://www.associationofcostslawyers.co.uk/
Other legal jobs
These legal jobs will use your knowledge but may not require professional qualification.
- Legal Technologist: This is a growing area of work and there is a whole website dedicated to this which includes profiles of the variety of careers in this arena. See https://lawtomated.com/careers/ Coming soon – a page on this blog dedicated to legal tech.
- Relevant law degree modules: Technologies in Legal Practice; Law, Science and Technology; for some:- Privacy, Data Protection and Cybersecurity Law
- Paralegal ⇒ This can be both a qualified and unqualified profession. The Institute of Paralegals offers lots of information and help http://www.theiop.org/
- Mediator – https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/mediator
- Barristers Clerk – https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/barristers-clerk
- United Nations ⇒ legal Job openings at the Office of Legal Affairs are managed by the United Nations Office for Human Resources Management: http://legal.un.org/ola/employ.aspx
- Court Usher ⇒ Ushers’ duties include escorting judges to and from court, preparing and closing courtrooms, carrying out court duties i.e. obtaining names of legal representatives, preparing court lists, maintaining order in the courtroom, administering oaths in court, and handing round exhibits. Vacancies are advertised on HMCS website: https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi
- Researcher, Law Commission ⇒ There is an annual recruitment of researchers to work on legal review and reform projects. Posts last for up to twelve months. ‘If you are interested please speak with Jayne Instone as there are staff in KLS whom have previously held these posts and you can speak with them about it. http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/
- Legal Cashiers ⇒ usually work in solicitors’ practices. They keep financial records and keep solicitors informed of the financial position of the firm: http://www.ilfm.org.uk/site/about/
- Legal Secretary ⇒ provide secretarial and clerical support to solicitors, barristers and the law courts. Positions can usually be found by contacting firms directly or checking with local recruitment agencies: https://www.institutelegalsecretaries.com/
- Insurance and Financial Planning – law graduates are in demand in these industries which offer a strong legal element. ciistepforward.co.uk
- Human Resources – a law degree is particularly relevant to a career in HR where you will need to know about Employment Law. Read more about this profession on https://www.kent.ac.uk/ces/student/workin/hr.html
- Contracts Specialist – organisations will deal with a range of contracts for services, employment, trading etc. Some may employ a contract specialist who writes, negotiates, finalizes and monitors the contracts. Such specialists may work in many different industries and departments, including: Human resource, Manufacturing, Retail, Construction, Finance, Technology, Government services, Logistics etc. There isn’t a specific career title or pathway to get into this work and often it will be work that is done by lawyers (in-house and contracted), paralegals, a purchasing manager, HR department or others.
You can also use your law degree and legal knowledge in many other jobs. Here’s some suggestions
- The Civil Service fast stream ⇒ https://www.gov.uk/faststream
- Work for an MP or political organisation ⇒ http://www.w4mp.org/
- The police service ⇒ http://recruit.college.police.uk/Pages/home.aspx
- Social Work – https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/social-worker
- Advice Work – https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/advice-worker
- Local Government Officer – https://www.prospects.ac.uk/job-profiles/local-government-officer