A life of law

If you are interested in all things legal then you might consider a career as a lawyer. This can be a very lucrative career, providing a good level of intellectual stimulation and with many exciting opportunities. Law is involved in almost all aspects of life, making it a diverse profession.

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Lawyers offer confidential advice and have direct contact with clients, offering legal expertise and help in a variety of situations such as:

support the community by providing free assistance to those who cannot afford legal services

provide expert guidance on issues which people regularly face such as the purchase and selling of property, preparing wills, and dealing with divorce

help businesses with the legal side of commercial transactions

protect the rights of individuals, ensuring they receive fair treatment by public and private bodies and that they receive compensation when they have been treated unfairly. For Southend Solicitors, visit a site like Drysdales, top Southend Solicitors

What qualities do you need?

Academic excellence is important because you will need to get a law degree, but employers also look for many other personal attributes:

Communication and interpersonal skills – ability to communicate with people at all levels and win their trust and respect

Responsible, professional and have integrity and ethics

Committed and dedicated to hard work

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Numeracy skills – being able to understand and interpret financial statements and accounts

Commercial awareness

Good time management, problem solving, prioritizing and planning projects

Versatility, flexibility and positive approach

The ability to understand complex information and present it in clear English

Commitment to ongoing personal development

There are several ways to become a lawyer. You can do a law degree, called the LLB or Bachelor of Law and then take the Legal Practice Course. There are other options to perform a non-law degree and then sit the general Professional Exam or the Graduate Diploma in Law and then LPC. There are also some opportunities available as a trainee solicitor.

Some tasks of a solicitor include:

Services such as conveyancing, family law, litigation, personal injury, probate and criminal

commercial practices – offering advice and representation for businesses in areas including tax, contracts, employment and corporate sales and mergers

provide in-house legal counsel to a company, government or local authority

Prosecutor – examination of evidence to decide whether to bring a case to court

A work week will typically be 37 hours a week, but longer hours are common and you could be on call on weekends and holidays. As a criminal lawyer, you may be called to attend the police station at any time, day or night and you will spend a lot of time in court.

Once you are a lawyer with experience, you might become a partner in a firm of private practice as a lawyer or as a commercial lawyer, you could manage an in-house legal department.