The Beginner's Guide to a Career in Law 2021

Reality check

There are a few things worth mentioning as a reminder that starting a legal career is competitive and expensive. So without wanting to detract from the exciting and challenging career on offer, here follows some food for thought…

Academics There is real competition for training contracts and pupillages. You must be

Finances We cannot stress this enough – with up to £9,250 per year undergrad fees, plus

getting strong grades from your first year of university onwards. Your A-level grades are also important, as anything less than As and Bs may stop an employer considering your application. Most recruiters we speak to say that excellent academics are a given, so make sure that you put in the time when studying.

postgrad study in 2020-21 costing up to £17,300 for the LPC and up to £16,000 for the Bar course, the road to qualification is not cheap and there are no guarantees of a job at the end of it. In addition, some firms at the smaller end of the market may pay trainees no more than the national minimum wage. Your ability to afford the courses and a potentially low starting wage must be a factor in deciding whether to pursue law as a career.

Time You must spend time

researching firms/ chambers you like; planning how to get work

Competition The numbers are stacked against you – there are many fewer training contract and pupillage places than

experience; and filling out, refining, checking (and having someone else check) your application forms. In every case, start early, have a schedule and be strict with yourself. Last-minute, rushed efforts are almost worse than no effort at all.

there are people with the necessary qualifications. You must find a way to stand out among thousands angling for the same job, so make sure you shine through by being resourceful, determined and committed to the profession and a career in law.

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