A balanced lifestyle, financial security and the ability to fulfil ambitions of professional satisfaction are key drivers for law students, according to the findings of a survey conducted by The University of Law (ULaw).*
With recent research** showing that law firms offer the second highest starting salaries (after investment banks) to graduates at £40,000, ULaw’s survey dispels misconceptions that choosing a career in the legal services sector is only for those driven by high-salaried and high-powered jobs.
The survey showed that the most common reason for students choosing to study law was the ‘intellectual challenge’ (74%). This is closely followed by having ‘an interest in law’ (70%) and looking for a career path which offered ‘interesting and varied work’ (68%).
For many law students there is a calling to practise law, with 61% of prospective barristers and 49% of prospective solicitors citing that their motivation was ‘to help people’.
Financial security and professional responsibility also featured in the survey, with 58% of law students stating that ‘earning potential’ was a strong pull in joining the legal profession along with ‘good prospects for career progression’ (54%).
Rachel Harris, Employability Director, ULaw said: “While money and position are important factors, the ability to make a real difference, to bring about positive change are often key drivers behind decisions to pursue a career in law.
“The level of interest in our pro bono programme which helps those who would not otherwise have access to legal advice is testament to this. We see our students relishing and getting personal satisfaction from the opportunity to help these clients. This enthusiasm from our students, along with the skills they learn while at the University makes them some of the most desirable graduates on the market when looking for employment.”
*1261 newly enrolled LL.B, GDL, LPC and BPTC students took part in the online survey in October 2014 **Based on figures from the 2015 High Flyers research into the graduate market
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