Studying law opens up a variety of incredible opportunities and career prospects, from becoming a lawyer to working in legal publishing. Whether you’re interested in human rights, corporate law or forensic investigation, you can find something suited to your interests in the legal profession. Check out our top 10 things you can do with a law degree below and find your passion today.
1. Become a lawyer
One of the key careers people think of when it comes to studying law is becoming a lawyer. The term ‘lawyer’ is a general term which is used to describe anyone who is a licenced legal professional such as a barrister and a solicitor. Lawyers advise and support clients, either preparing their case for court or advocating for them in court or at tribunals. Of course, there are many roles within the legal system you may wish to explore, but becoming a lawyer is certainly one of the most popular choices.
In order to qualify as a lawyer, you will need to obtain a certified law degree (LLB) which can be taken either online or in-class at university. Following this, you will likely need to study at postgraduate level, depending on what your specific career aspirations are. Solicitors must complete a vocational Legal Practice Course (LPC) before embarking on a training course with a law firm. Becoming a barrister also requires postgraduate training which is often the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) and then a work-based learning element.
2. Specialise with further study
An undergraduate law degree is a fantastic baseline if you want to explore a specific career path. Following your degree, you may want to take a professional postgraduate course such as those mentioned above. However, there are also a number of other postgraduate education options if you simply want to expand your knowledge or further explore your area of interest.
You can of course study a Master of Law degree (LLM) in order to either deepen your understanding of the academic side of law or learn more about your area of interest through optional modules. You can also choose a variety of other postgraduate study options, such as a PGCE if you want to go into education, or an MA in Management if you want to become for example, the manager of a law firm.
3. Become a detective
If you are more interested in becoming part of the police force, then working as a detective could be for you. In order to become a detective, you can join the Police Now National Detective Programme after your degree and over the two years of the programme you will learn the key skills to become a detective. Your education in law will hugely help your progress in the programme and, combined with your training, can set you up with a fantastic career. Before the programme, however, you will need to obtain a 2:2 in your degree and have two years of experience in the industry (which you may have been able to complete during a placement in your studies!).
4. Become a corporate social responsibility manager
A law degree is so diverse and interdisciplinary, that you can also go into roles which are not directly related to the legal system. Becoming a corporate social responsibility (CSR) manager means that you will be responsible for ensuring that companies maintain ethical standards when it comes to the environment and sustainability. Within this role, you can help companies reduce their waste and help introduce strategies which minimise harmful practices whilst maximising profit. If you are interested in marketing and business and want to make a difference for the environment and wider society, then this could be a great career option for you.
5. Become an RSPCA inspector
If you love animals and want to utilise your law degree to help animals in need, then a career as an RSPCA inspector is ideal. You can use your legal knowledge to assist in the legal aspect of abused or neglected animals, and fight for the animal rights in ongoing investigations. Although legal knowledge is not required to become an inspector, it is an interesting route for those who want to work with animals but use some of their legal knowledge in their career.
In order to be an inspector, you will need some customer-facing experience as well as experience with animals and a degree of physical fitness. This is an active role with a 21-week training programme you will need to undertake to ensure you can practically do the job and have the knowledge and ability to handle sensitive cases.
6. Become a judge
Another popular career choice for law graduates is becoming a judge. This highly prestigious role comes with a lot of responsibility, as you will be making rulings and passing sentences in court. However, with a good salary and the ability to positively impact lives, it is no wonder that this career path is a popular one.
Whether you want to work in the magistrates’ court or the supreme court, you will need to get postgraduate qualifications similar to those required by other legal professionals. After you have completed your undergraduate degree, you should gain at least a postgraduate diploma in law (GDL) followed by passing the Legal Practice Course (LPC) or Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC). You then need to work as a legal professional for 5 to 7 years to obtain the experience needed to be appointed by the Judicial Appointments Commission.
7. Become a coroner
For those who are more interested in the forensic science aspect of law, becoming a coroner could be a very fulfilling role. As a coroner, you will be deciding the cause of death through close analysis of the evidence, hold an inquest into the cause of death if needed and write reports in order to prevent future deaths. To become a coroner, you will need to become a qualified solicitor or barrister first or be a member of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives with at least 5 years’ experience in the field. This role can often be emotionally hard to handle, as you will likely deal with mourning relatives as well as the deceased, however, it can also be very rewarding to play a large part in ensuring justice is carried out and using your scientific and legal expertise to help solve a case.
As you can see, there is a whole lot you can do with your law degree. From becoming a lawyer or a judge to fighting for animal rights, law degrees are likely to set you up for an exciting, profitable career.
So, now that you know what to expect, why not check out some university law courses and get started right away?