environment may find a financial services or City career attractive. Most of the leading financial institutions offer summer work placement programmes, which are a good starting point for you to explore this further. Civil service There are opportunities throughout the civil service. Law graduates may wish to pursue a career in the Home Office, the Ministry of Justice, the diplomatic service or the Foreign Office. Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs employs tax inspectors and those with an ability to understand the intricacies of tax law are especially suited to such jobs. The UK Border Agency also welcomes applications from candidates with a legal background. It is worth investigating the Civil Service Fast Stream, an accelerated training scheme for graduates (www.faststream.gov.uk ). Media Writing about the law can be a creative way in which to use your legal knowledge. Specialist publishers occasionally advertise for law graduates or qualified lawyers to train as legal editors. There is a wide variety of potential employers, ranging from international publishing houses with large legal departments to small companies that produce legal news and features, reference works and directories. In addition, many international law firms have publishing departments that provide newsletters and briefings for clients. Newspapers and television and radio stations all employ legal correspondents. Here, an understanding of how the law works is invaluable. Police Those with a keen interest in law and order may wish to consider joining the police force; opportunities abound for graduates to achieve accelerated promotion. For further details, look at recruit.college.police.uk/ pages/home.aspx .
Having a law degree opens up many other career options in addition to becoming a lawyer. There are lots of alternatives to becoming a solicitor or barrister, and various routes to qualifying other than the standard training contract or pupillage. Employers value the skills gained through legal training, such as the ability to research and analyse large amounts of information, and make a logical argument and reasoned conclusion based on the facts. The ability to communicate clearly with the public and the profession alike is another sought-after skill. Discretion and a first-class memory are all highly valued in the general careers market.
Read on to see whether any of these alternative careers might be for you.
Alternative professions Accountancy and taxation
Many accountancy firms recruit law students to specialise in tax work because, arguably, there are few differences between the job of a tax accountant and that of a tax lawyer. In addition, three of the ‘big four’ accountancy firms – PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG and Ernst & Young – have secured alternative business structure licences, allowing them to launch and run their own law firms. Accountancy exams are tough, but the potential rewards – both professional and financial – are excellent. Amove into accountancy also offers the opportunity to branch out into other careers (with positions in industry, management and consultancy). For further details of careers in accountancy, contact the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England andWales or the Chartered Institute of Taxation (see “Useful addresses”). Finance Banks are keen to recruit law graduates, as are building societies, insurance companies, stockbrokers and related professions. Those who thrive in a competitive, high-pressure
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