For many graduates with a law degree, going on to become a solicitor or barrister is the ultimate goal, and this can be a very rewarding career. But what if you don’t want to be a lawyer after university? Shiv Raja, managing director of The Law Tutors, tells us what other career paths are open to you
Doing a law degree at university helps you gain plenty of transferable skills that will be attractive to a prospective employer. As a law student, you will develop research skills, the ability to analyse and evaluate information.
There are lots of famous people who studied law but chose not to practise as solicitors or barristers. Did you know that the Hollywood actor Gerald Butler did a law degree at university before becoming an actor?
Jobs linked to law
If you don’t want to practise as a solicitor or barrister but are still interested in the law, you can do a variety of different jobs.
Here are a just a few examples of what you can do with a law degree:
As a compliance analyst, you will be responsible for advising the directors of a company on how the company can operate within the rules and regulations that apply to the sector. There has been a big increase in financial regulation over the past few years, so going into a compliance role at a financial institution has become very attractive to some graduates.
You will be responsible for providing administrative support to barristers. There will be huge variety in your role on a day-to-day basis. Your duties will range from organising meetings for barristers to managing the collection of the barristers’ fees from instructing solicitors.
If you really enjoy criminal law but prefer the idea of enforcing the law rather than advising clients on it, a career as a police officer might suit you. Whether it’s a working on the beat as a patrol officer or working in a specialist team such as online crime and fraud, you will have the opportunity to make a real difference.
Employees are one of the most important assets that a business has and whether it’s a small start-up or a large multinational organisation, there will always be HR issues to deal with. If you are interested in employment law, the management of employees and employee welfare, a career in HR is a good option.
Careers outside of law
But what if you want a career that’s totally separate to the law? A law degree is respected by employers around the world. The set of skills you will develop as a law student will prove to be extremely useful when working in non-law environments. So with your transferable skills, you’ll have plenty of career opportunities.
The opportunities open to you really are limitless! Here are just a few examples of what you can do with a law degree outside the law:
If you were fascinated by constitutional and administrative law at university and would like to assist the government with their work, joining the Civil Service Fast Stream programme for graduates could be a great option. The Civil Service is made up of a broad range of different departments so you can find an area that you are really interested in and specialise.
Working in the City of London as a high-flying banker at a global financial institution will give you the opportunity to use skills such as communication and problem-solving.
If you find the idea of working for a large company appealing, you should consider joining a graduate programme. There are lots of different roles available and these include product development, procurement and commercial strategy. If you’re diligent in the workplace and take advantage of the right opportunities, you may eventually end up in the management team running a company that is a household name.
This option has become increasingly common over the past few years. Joining a start-up may not initially pay you the best salary but if you’re interested in building a business, want a challenge and are happy to forgo a graduate salary for a few years, you might really enjoy working for a new business. You never know, you might end up working for the next Google or Uber!