Law is a challenging choice, but also a very rewarding one. It is a well-respected career and affects everything, so you’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference to people’s lives. But where to start? Here are some tips to give you some direction:
Good grades are very important if you want to be a lawyer. They demonstrate your academic ability which is vital
You will need a grade 4-9 in at least five of your GCSE subjects. And when it comes to A Levels, the top universities will be looking for A*s, As and Bs. Whilst there are routes to qualification that do not require a university degree, it definitely helps in supporting an application against other candidates.
Different areas of law require different skillsets but in general there are core fundamental traits that will start you in the right direction.
These include: attention to detail, organisation and time management, problem solving and logical reasoning, as well as communication, teamwork and people skills. For those wishing to become Barristers, public speaking skills are also important!
There are a variety of different roles within law firms, ranging from solicitors, barristers and other fee earners to paralegals, legal secretaries and other support staff - each coming with their own set of unique responsibilities. Read up on the various roles and what they entail, as well as speaking to people currently in those jobs where you can.
Work experience will help you understand what area of law suits you best and will also help you understand what kind of firm you want to work for. Firms will also use work placements to find future recruits so make sure you use the opportunity to make a good impression.
Many law firms offer work placements, particularly over the summer but if there aren’t any schemes available, try sending a speculative email or letter to your local firm. Most law firms will have a careers section on their website where you can find the details you need.
Each law firm is different, varying dramatically in size, expertise and specialisms in the areas they practice. Whether you are looking for jobs, work experience or simply pointers on the areas of law that you might be interested on, make sure you properly explore their websites, read news reports they feature in and check out their status in legal directories such as Chambers & Partners or the Legal 500.
Would you like to know more?
Thrings is an award-winning law firm that is ranked highly by the Legal 500 directories as one of the best firms in the UK for trainees. To find out more about opportunities within the firm, visit our careers page.
You can download a PDF version of this guide.