Careers with a Law Degree
Studying law does not necessarily mean you will progress to become a solicitor or a barrister. There are other career paths in which a law degree is beneficial and well received.
Considering that around 30,000 students start a law degree every year and there’s only roughly 5,500 training contracts (not to mention a limited number of vacation schemes) and 500 pupillages on offer each year, it’s clear that not every law graduate ends up as a solicitor or barrister.
So what possible careers could you pursue with a law degree? Instead of putting together a long-winded article of vagaries, here are some rock solid examples of careers you might be able to pursue with your law degree.
We’ve divided them up by sector, but obviously some roles are found in more than one sector. Click on the links to access a job description, entry requirements and salary details.
We’ve beavered away to make this article as helpful and as accurate as possible, but please bear in mind this is not a comprehensive list. Sorry.
Business and legal careers…
Let’s cover the obvious ones first. These are the career options that you’ll be most familiar with and the ones you might have had in mind when you started your law degree:
There are plenty of business roles that require an understanding of law. Compliance officers are usually found working for financial companies and other business areas that are heavily regulated.
Salaries tend to range between £26,000 and £50,000 with most compliance officers on around £30,000 a year.
Public sector and politics careers…
We don’t need to tell you that law and the public sector go hand in hand. If you don’t fancy becoming a solicitor or barrister, it makes blindingly obvious sense to check out some of the career options available within the public sector and politics:
Other places you could look for job opportunities are (deep breath): ): Ministry of Justice, Civil Service, National Offender Management Service, HM Courts and Tribunal Service, HMRC, Youth Justice Board, Health & Safety Executive, Trading Standards, and Local Government.
Otherwise, your law degree might come in handy working for relevant research think tanks or political consultancies.
Banking, finance and accountancy careers…
Many banking, finance and accountancy roles require a grasp of legal concepts, as well as numeracy. They also boast some of the best paid careers in the country.
Hardly surprising then, that many law graduates seek out careers in this area.
Teaching and education careers…
Although there might not be an abundance of opportunities, if you enjoy the academic side of law, you might want to look into teaching it in higher or further education.
Click on the links to find out what sort of qualifications you will need. Secondary school teaching might be an option, but, again, bear in mind there are relatively few positions for teaching law.
Advertising, marketing and PR careers…
There are plenty of jobs that don’t require a specific degree discipline to enter. If you’re interested in this sector, then why not look into legal-related work, such as the marketing departments of law firms, legal charities or other organisations.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a creative genius to work in advertising, marketing or PR either.
Unsurprisingly, the media is a popular career choice. You’ll have picked up some great written and oral communication skills during your degree which are particularly handy for careers in the media.
You can find roles that utilise your legal knowledge too: such as working for legal publishers, industry publications or B2B media.
Charity, not-for-profit & NGO careers…
Other law graduates make a beeline for the third sector, whether that’s looking to work for legal-related charities, such as NACRO, Victim Support, or Amnesty International, or for employment with advisory services such as the Refugee Council, and Citizens Advice.
If you’re interested in a career in human rights, details of Human Right Organisations across the world can be found on the Bar Human Rights Committee’s website.
HR & recruitment careers…
Whether you really enjoyed doing an optional employment law module at university, or you want to work in the HR department of a law firm or with a legal recruiter, HR and recruitment presents a great option for law graduates.
The difference between law and non-law recruitment...
A big difference you’ll find with some of the non-legal roles in this article is that there is no rigid recruitment structure for graduates, unlike if you want to become a solicitor or barrister.
You will have to be the incredibly proactive one: sniffing out opportunities (that might not be advertised), being prepared to work your way up and interning your way into roles.
So there you have it: a heck of a lot of links to sift through. Happy career hunting!
What can I do with a Law Degree?