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Law & Paralegal

Most students will choose law because they are interested in pursuing a career in the legal profession. Law is a demanding course and training places for solicitors and barristers are highly competitive and limited.

However, for those with the right aptitudes and motivation, the rewards of legal career can be great, both in terms of salary levels and personal development. Below are ten reasons to choose a career in the legal profession.

  1. Diverse Legal Career Options - The complexities of our legal system have created hundreds of legal career options that serve a variety of core and non-core legal functions. From lawyers, judges and mediators to paralegals, secretaries and consultants, the legal professional’s role is expanding and evolving to keep pace with the ever-changing legal system.
  2. Growth and Opportunity - In the last several years, the legal profession has experienced staggering growth. A steady rise in profits and revenues, expanded headcounts and significant salary increases have provided plenty of job opportunities in a broad range of legal positions.
  3. Financial Rewards - The legal profession is one of the most lucrative industries in today’s job market. Double-digit growth in recent years has produced healthy revenues and rising salaries. Many non-lawyers also reap significant financial rewards in the legal profession.
Solicitors in private practice
  Small / Medium Large
PQE £000s £000s
NQ 22 - 37 31 - 40
1 23 - 40 34 - 43
2 24 - 42 37 - 48
3 25 - 44 38 - 53
4 27 - 46 41 - 60
5 27 - 46 43 - 67
6 30 - 50 47 - 95
Salaried partner w following 45 - 90 52 - 195
Sup. Lawyer N/A 55 - 200
ILEX Salary Survey - Legal Executive and Paralegal 2016
  Student ILEX / Junior Paralegal Member ILEX / Mid-level Paralegal Fellow / Senior Paralegal
Employment £16 - 20k £20 - 26k £28 - 45k
Crime £14 - 18k £18 - 22k £22 - 35k
Debt recovery £15 - 20k £18 - 27k £25 - 40k
Family £15 - 20k £18 - 25k £25 - 40k
Private Client £16 - 20k £22 - 28k £28 - 45k
Personal Injury £15 - 20k £18 - 30k £28 - 45k
Property £18 - 22k £22 - 30k £30 - 45k
Professional Negligence £18 - 24k £22 - 30k £28 - 45k
Costs £18 - 24k £22 - 40k £32 - 60k
  1. Client Service - At the heart of the legal professional’s role is client care. Whether you are a solicitor representing a multinational corporate client, a paralegal assisting a restraining order or a law clerk researching a tax issue for a new business, the fundamental purpose of the legal professional is to help others resolve their legal problems.
  2. Diverse Practice Areas - Increased segmentation and specialisation in the legal profession has spawned a growing number of legal specialties and sub-specialties that cater to almost every legal interest. Legal professionals who seek a career in litigation can specialise in criminal law, employment law, family law, products liability or dozens of other practice areas. Legal professionals who prefer a career in corporate law can specialise in tax law, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, finance or another corporate practice area that satisfies their interests.
  3. Intellectual Challenge - Navigating an evolving legal system, advances in technology, vast bodies of case law and the demands of the legal profession creates a stimulating intellectual environment for the legal professional. Lawyers and non-lawyers alike must grapple with conceptually challenging issues, reason with logic and clarity, analyse case and statutory law, research complex legal issues and master oral and written communications.
  4. Prosperity - Historically, the legal profession has weathered economic downturns quite well and should do so in the future, in part due to the growing geographic and practice diversification of many law firms. In fact, some practice areas such as litigation, bankruptcy and reorganisation, residential real estate foreclosures and regulatory compliance will actually benefit from an economic slowdown. As a result, legal professionals should find plenty of job opportunities in any economic climate.
  5. Prestige - In a culture that views high pay, impressive schooling and societal power as hallmarks of success, the legal profession has long been regarded as a noble and elite profession. This image is further boosted by the portrayal of legal careers in the media as exciting, glamorous, fast-paced and desired. As a result, the legal profession has held its allure and careers in the law remain as one of the most sought-after professions in today’s job market.
  6. Global Perspective - More firms and corporations are crossing international borders and expanding across the globe through mergers, acquisitions, consolidation and collaboration with foreign counsel. The globalisation of the legal profession provides today’s legal professional with a world view and the opportunity to serve international clients.
  7. Dynamic Environment - The legal profession is continually changing and evolving, bringing new challenges and rewards. Legal professionals must be problem-solvers and innovators, willing to assume new responsibilities, tackle new challenges, master new technology and navigate an ever-evolving legal system. This dynamic legal landscape makes each day unique and fosters an enjoyable, fulfilling work experience. 

Unfortunately, getting into the legal profession is very challenging; so many students do need to consider other options.

Happily, not only will studying a legal qualification provide you with access to a variety of legal careers, it will also give you an excellent progression opportunities into a variety of highly skilled and analytical roles in business, finance, education, public policy, public service or social services in the UK and internationally.

More than half of all the graduate jobs do not require any particular degree background and a good Law degree will allow you to present plenty of important skills to future employers.

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