The Beginner's Guide to a Career in Law 2021

Branches of the profession

is almost always self-employed and a solicitor/legal executive may be in a law firm of thousands of people, the reality is more complicated. Barristers often work together in teams and with solicitors, and some solicitors/legal executives spend many hours on their own in a room drafting documents. Deciding which career path would suit you best could be a challenge – factors to bear in mind include school grades, your key interests and financial circumstances. Over the page is a brief guide with some key facts, which may help you to decide.

One of the key questions to ask yourself is what type of lawyer you want to be. For many, that will mean deciding between becoming a solicitor or a barrister. For others, the option to ‘earn while you learn’ as a chartered legal executive will appeal. Simply put, a barrister appears in court, while a solicitor or chartered legal executive works in a law firm. All three are ‘lawyers’. However, there are key differences. The stereotype is that barristers are individualists while solicitors and legal executives are team players. But while it is true that a barrister

Further reading Solicitors Barristers

The CILEx section on


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