The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2023

close involvement enables the lawyers to develop detailed knowledge of all aspects of their employer’s business and provide advice that’s in tune with the employer’s commercial needs. Although commercial organisations are usually the main employers of in-house lawyers, an increasing number of not for profit bodies (eg, charities and trade unions) are hiring legal advisers to work in-house. One interesting aspect of working as a lawyer within a non-profit-making organisation is that many of its legal concerns relate to its own particular interests, in addition to the general laws that affect other companies. However small, most in-house legal departments are expected to provide cost- effective, commercially attractive and legally correct solutions to problems. Common to most legal departments is a requirement to draft and maintain up-to-date standard contract documents. In-house lawyers may also be involved in planning business strategies with commercial colleagues and negotiating the terms of deals with customers or other lawyers. Other responsibilities could include advising on the supply of goods and services, leases, mortgages, mergers and acquisitions, and cooperation agreements for research, production, distribution or marketing, as well as litigation stemming from disputes arising from any of these activities. Ensuring the company’s compliance with UK and EU law is an important part of the in-house lawyer’s remit. Specialist knowledge of the law relating to the employer’s business may be necessary (eg, financial services, pharmaceuticals or telecoms). Besides a thorough and analytical approach to business and the relevant law, it’s also important for in-house lawyers to have excellent communication skills, a flexible and confident attitude, the ability to work as part of a team and sound commercial awareness.

Court reporting Court reporters record verbatim court hearings for official transcripts of court proceedings. Increasingly, reporters use a computer-aided transcription system rather than traditional shorthand. Court reporters need not be legally qualified to enter the profession, although it is an advantage. Details of training and careers are available through the British Institute of Verbatim Reporters (see ‘Useful addresses’). Conveyancing Licensed conveyancers deal with property transactions worth nearly £10 billion each year. Conveyancing is the process of legally transferring title or ownership of property from one person to another. A licensed conveyancer is a specialist lawyer qualified in all aspects of property law in England and Wales. They’re also commissioners for oaths and more and more of them do probate, which is the process for enacting someone’s will after their death. They work in a range of organisations, including specialist firms, landowning estates and local authorities, and are regulated by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) (see ‘Useful addresses’). The Scottish Qualifications Authority has developed a range of diplomas in partnership with the CLC, which replace the previous CLC qualifications. It’s possible to study to become a licensed conveyancer while working, by either distance learning or part-time study. Most students spread the course over three to four years, although it’s possible to complete it in two. To find out more, call the CLC on 020 3859 0904 or email Alternative qualification opportunities In-house lawyers Approximately 35,900 lawyers work in-house in commercial and industrial organisations in the UK. The main characteristic of the in-house role is that lawyers deal exclusively with their employer’s legal business. This


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