Many people study law at undergraduate level but then decide not to continue in a career as a barrister or solicitor. Others begin practising as lawyers but then change their minds and decide that moving into a new career area is the right decision. The career options lawyers and law graduates can consider are far reaching and a law degree really does open many doors.
CV Skills from your Law Degree
Studying law is a way of getting a foundation in many different skill areas, required for all legal professions but many other professions too. The skills you learn include analysis of rules and regulations and court decisions, clear writing, constructing reasoned arguments, research and the application of knowledge. These skills can be used in many different fields and for many different career roles. On completion of a law degree you can expect to have high proficiency in the following skill areas:
- Research skills through the use of various kinds of source materials – both online and hard copy
- Analytical skills
- Evaluation and reflection skills including the ability to interpret and explain complex and technical information
- Critical judgement skills
- Reasoning skills
- Debating and arguing skills including experience in formulating sound evidence-based arguments
- Lateral thinking
- Problem solving
- High levels of concise and exact writing skills
- Persuasive oral communication skills
- Close attention to detail
- Formal document drafting
Alternative Career Options for Law Graduates
There are many different fields law graduates can move into. Here are some of the most popular areas:
Public Sector and Politics
Law is a natural choice for many people hoping to go into politics or work in the public sector. You could have ambitions to be a career politician or want to work as a researcher for a governmental body. You could also choose to apply for the Civil Service Fast Stream or find a role in an organisation that represents the interests of particular areas of society, and industries, such as a trade union.
Education and Teaching
Whilst you may not have had teaching in mind when you began your degree it can be hugely rewarding career choice. If the academic side of law has begun to appeal throughout your degree then it is definitely worth considering a career in education, teaching or academia. There aren’t many positions for teaching law, but if you’re dedicated there is no reason you can’t get one of them.
Banking, Finance & Accountancy
A career in finance can seem very inviting. Many roles in banking, finance and accountancy require a grasp of legal concepts and high numeracy skills. Careers in this sector often come with the best pay packets so if you’re driven by a high salary, this could be a good choice for you.
Charity and Third Sector
Many law graduates are drawn to working in the third sector based on previous experiences or their own personal values. These include legal-related charities such as Amnesty International or Victim Support where the roles include press and public relations, research and policy formulation. If you have a real passion for human rights, then you can take a closer look at human rights organisations looking for trainees and graduates.
Actor John Cleese, operate singer Andrea Bocelli and author John Grisham are just three law graduates who found careers in creative fields.