With university open days for prospective students just around the corner thousands of young people will be researching and making the decision on their degree subject.
The legal profession has been seen as an elite and prestigious industry for many years but welcome progress has been made to widen diversity within the sector. Although demanding and requiring specialist training, a career in law is very fulfilling and financially rewarding.
If the jury is still out on a whether a career in law is right for you, Professor Peter Crisp, Deputy Vice Chancellor Law at The University of Law, explains why law is a rewarding path to choose.
In the UK, the legal industry has the highest paying starting salaries, with graduates earning an average of £42,250 per year. At some law firms, graduates are even starting out on as much as £150,000 per year.
However they choose to qualify as a lawyer, graduates will be entering a high-paying industry with competitive salaries offered across varying specialties.
On average, UK lawyers are paid £68,700 per year with some salaries reaching as high as £200,000 later in lawyers’ careers when experience counts.
Professor Crisp added: “The attractive salary has created a buzz around a legal career for years, putting solicitors and barristers on a professional pedestal. The pay range is broad and you can make the decision at any point in your career to progress or not progress further if you choose. It is a flexible and exciting career.”
Growth and transferable skills
Studying and working in law is much more than just a chosen career. While studying law is a foundation for everything you need to pursue law as a career, your legal training also sets you up with a wealth of transferable skills.
Almost two thirds of employers (61%) said they prioritise a candidate's soft skills over their career experience, these include social, communication, emotional and people skills. Teamwork and communication are considered the most important of these qualities with over half (57% & 55%) of recruiters considering them as such.
Professor Crisp explained: “Throughout your studies you will develop your communication skills. From giving presentations, speaking in a mock courtroom or practising negotiating deals, all these skills will give you a foot in the door of any career. Working in law, you will also find yourself in high-pressure environments and become experienced working to deadlines, which will develop your resilience, something which is invaluable to employers in all sectors.”
Making a difference
Professor Crisp said: “If you are the type of person who believes in making a difference, studying law could not be more fitting. Maybe you will choose to go into the legal profession and fight for people who have been wrongly convicted of a crime. You might use the communication and debating skills you learn to step into politics. Your knowledge of the law could help you set up a charity to fight social injustice.”
For many people, a rewarding career is more than just a good salary. The important thing about a career in law is the ways in which it can be fulfilling and bring positive change to the world. Depending on the niche you choose, you can take on cases that have an impact on the environment, human rights, or even simply the life of your client.
Those with a strong desire to learn and a competitive nature will reap great benefits from a degree as intellectually challenging as law. While law does remain one of most challenging UK degrees to study, students with inquisitive minds will thoroughly enjoy the precision and demand of the profession.
Professor Crisp said: “Lawyers and those studying the profession will face ethical, moral and jurisprudential problems which they must grapple with and resolve. As well as the nature of the job itself, the study of law will teach you to become a resilient and focussed individual. Completing and graduating from such a demanding degree could not be a more rewarding feeling.”
“There are a number of qualifications that future lawyers can and will take to launch their careers, from legal apprenticeships, an undergraduate degree or SQE qualifications right through to the Bar exams, should they wish to become a barrister. The journey to becoming a fully-fledged lawyer is as rewarding as the job itself, with many opportunities to learn new skills and shape your career throughout the years of your studying.”