Alternative Careers in Law
Having a law degree offers a world of opportunities. You don’t have to be solely a solicitor.
One area you can choose to look at is become a barrister.
If you’re not too fond of working with the public and just want to specialize and work mostly in the court room, then being a barrister would be a good choice. Barristers are usually hired by solicitors to help them in creating legal arguments that will convince the juries to side with case of the solicitor. The way barristers summarize the reasons why the court should rule in favor of their client can also be a big help in supporting the case of the solicitor they are assisting.
Another thing that barristers do is to cross-examine witnesses. Great barristers can sway or influence the court’s decision towards their perspective. Another task that barristers do is to do legal research and turn them into opinions, legal documents, and legal briefs that solicitors can use to strengthen their cases.
To succeed in being a barrister, you’ll need to be very detail oriented, highly analytical and logical. These skills will serve you well in building a career in this niche.
Another field to look at is being a paralegal. You’ll be working closely with solicitors and carry out administrative and support work. This includes preparing documents and doing research for the client cases. Depending on the size of the law firm you work with, your responsibilities could vary. In smaller firms, you’ll play bigger roles such as client interviewing and casework.
Being a paralegal can lead you to a training contract if being a solicitor is ultimately you decide to become. So while you’re still not sure about being a solicitor, you can start small and be a paralegal first.
Legal Information Professional
If you love law and books, you can work in the libraries of the solicitors, or specialist libraries that cater to lawyers. You can also choose to work in the libraries of law schools or colleges. You will do legal research and manage the resources of the library. It will also involve training of lawyers who want to understand how to maximize the use of the library. This work will need some technological know-how as libraries of today maximize technology to make research and support services more efficient.
This role would also be perfect for you if you’re more introverted and don’t want to deal too much with the public or the dramas of the court room.
Your role as a legal information professional might also include managing the website of the law firm and their social media platforms like Twitter.
Another area you could explore would be to become a tax consultant. There are so much rules and legal information about taxes that you could maximize your law degree especially if you specialized in commerce law. The advantage of getting some mastery of taxation in the UK or Europe is that you become more versatile. You can do work related to mergers and acquisitions and wealth management planning. Your skills would also be needed by businesses when they do tax planning structures, especially now that Brexit is on the horizon.
You will also become more indispensable as accountancy firms will find your skills attractive and hire you knowing that you have both legal and taxation specializations.
If you like dealing and specializing in properties, then becoming a licensed conveyancer will be ideal for you. As a licensed conveyancer, your work delves in the legal parts of property transactions. Your work will entail giving legal advice to your clients and preparing contracts and leases. In this field of work, you work with other professionals in the property market such as real estate agents, bank lending officers and other lawyers. Your law degree would definitely be useful in the property market as you can work in the legal department of banks, building societies and housing associations.
Trade mark attorney
This one is perfect for those who who wants to specialize in something very relevant and in demand right now plus being exposed to the broad side of business rather than just strictly focusing on legal matter.
As a trade mark attorney, you need to have sufficient knowledge on areas such as copyright, unfair competition, common law and industrial designs. Your work will involve on providing advisory work in the registration of trade marks of your clients. Copyright infringement is so widespread these days that your services will be very important as you can provide advisory on how your clients can prevent infringing the rights of other companies or if other companies are liable for copyright infringement of your client’s brands. If there is, you can work with solicitors on pursuing litigation to get some damages from the culprits.
Trade mark attorneys can also work in mergers and acquisitions when there are transfers of ownership, licenses, trade marks and brand names involved.
If you want to work closely with justices and magistrates, you might want to become a court clerk. They ensure the efficient running of the courts and justice administration. You also need to do court related admin work such as arranging court time and payment of fines. If you persevere in this niche, you can eventually become a justices’ chief executive.
Another field you can explore is arbitration. There are often a lot of industrial and commercial disputes where your services as an arbitrator would be very useful. As an arbitrator, you act as an impartial third party judge to create resolutions that will be accepted by both parties. You will need to be good at interviewing the parties and witnesses so that you can get the necessary facts to create a fair judgment on the dispute.
A law degree is indeed a very versatile degree as it offers you many choices for your career. You don’t need to be stuck in one area. If you want to grow and explore other niches, a law degree offers you significant opportunities to do so.