JOBS & CAREERS SPRING 2018 - 88
work weekends and evenings, especially when
it's busy, or you're dealing with a tough case.
What qualifications do I need? If you have a
law degree, you can take a legal practice course.
If you have a degree in another subject, you
can take a common professional examination/
graduate diploma in law (CPE/GDL). If you're not
a graduate, you can join the Chartered Institute
of Legal Executives (CILEx) and qualify while
working in the profession. After finishing your
degree or CPE/GDL, you'll need to pass the legal
practice course (LPC) and get a training contract.
How much can I earn? Trainee solicitors don't
earn much more than the national living wage,
but once qualified you can take home between
£25,000 and £90,000 a year, depending on your
experience. Partners can earn more than £100,000.
a career in
law takes time
so it's worth
it's the right
choice for you
Barristers are specialists
who work on legal matters
in different areas of
law - commercial, civil,
criminal and family. Usually
self-employed, they work
closely with solicitors, who
give them instructions and
any information relating
to a case. When they're
not appearing in court,
they work in chambers
to prepare their cases.
Barristers spend time
advising their clients on the
strength of their case and
then working on that case
with them. They represent
clients in court, setting
out the case and crossexamining witnesses. They
also negotiate settlements with the opposition's
legal team when a dispute is resolved out of court.
What qualifications do I need? Qualifying
means getting a degree (2:2 or above), either an
approved law degree in any other subject, and
then gaining a postgraduate common professional
examination/graduate diploma in law (CPE/GDL).
There are two more steps to qualification. Firstly,
a vocational step to achieve the bar professional
training course (BPTC), which takes one year
full-time or two years part-time. Finally, barristers
take what's called a pupillage - one year spent
working in an approved legal environment.
You'll also need great writing and debating
skills, be able to think clearly under pressure.
How much can I earn? Barristers doing their
pupillage won't get more than about £12,000 a
year, but that rises rapidly once fully qualified.
Within a few years, you could earn up to
8 8 /// J O B S & C A R E E R S
£200,000, depending on what sector you're
specialising in. Working in the CPS will land
you between £30,000 and £90,000 a year, and
salaries in private practice can exceed £750,000.
As a paralegal you'll help lawyers in your practice,
doing some of the same work but without giving
advice to clients. The duties of a paralegal vary
according to the type of firm and practice area.
You may research and draft documents, attend
client meetings, look after documents and
prepare reports. Some paralegals help to write
contracts and mortgages, and prepare income
tax returns and other financial documents.
What qualifications do I need? There are no
set entry requirements, but firms usually look
for law graduates or non-law graduates who
have done a CPE/GDL. Some larger firms look
for graduates who have also passed the LPC.
How much can I earn? Starting salaries are
around £14,000 to £25,000, rising to over £40,000.
A chartered legal executive is a lawyer who
specialises in one particular area of the law, such
as conveyancing. They can prepare documents,
draw up wills, advise clients and prepare bills.
What qualifications do I need? You can work
in a legal office whether you're a graduate or
not, with the option to later qualify as a solicitor
through further training. It's a tough option,
but it means you can earn while you learn.
How much can I earn? Salaries start at £15,000
to £28,000, but can rise to more than £100,000.
You'll provide secretarial and clerical support to
solicitors, barristers and the law courts, dealing
with large quantities of correspondence and
helping to prepare documents such as wills.
What qualifications do I need? Most jobs will
require you to have GCSEs grade 9 to 4 (A* to
C) in English and maths. Experience of working
in an office will stand you in good stead.
How much can I earn? From £18,000, rising
to £35,000 to £45,000 for supervisory roles.
Find out more
* Chartered Institute of Legal Executives
* Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs
* Institute of Paralegals
* The Law Society