What do I need to get there?
Academics standards are high: most employers expect a 2.1 degree or above, as well as commercial awareness and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
If you don’t have a degree in law, it’s still possible to go into the sector by taking a conversion course, regardless of the original subject studied via the he Common Professional Examination (CPE) or Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). Applicants can choose to do this in one intense year or over two years to qualify for a Senior Status law degree.
Further training after this stage depends on whether you wish to become a barrister or solicitor. For barristers, the one-year Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) followed by at least a 12-month pupilage in chambers is necessary. Pupilages are divided into two six-month periods, commonly referred to as ‘sixes’.
the one-year Legal Practice Course (LPC) followed by a two-year training contract, usually with a firm of solicitors, or the legal section of a commercial firm or government department.
Most lawyers need to be able to speak and write clearly. Most of the practice of law is conducted by speaking or writing to other people, so a strong ability with language is very important. Logic is key: the practice of law is all about interpreting how the laws will apply to a particular case and this is done. The preconception that lawyers are all hard-nosed tough nuts is unwise: much of a lawyer’s time is spent talking to people, negotiating and building relationships. So ‘people skills’ are very important to lawyers. It’s important to develop a personality that is well liked by clients and other lawyers.
A few weeks’ work experience at a firm is invaluable for the CV.