What you can do with a degree in... law
The University of Winchester explores what you gain from a degree in law
It might seem obvious which careers commonly follow a law degree, but there are a lot of different options out there. This guide helps you explore the many different paths you can take after finishing your law degree.
First, let’s look at the skills which you can take with you into your career.
Skills you can gain from this degree include…
Critical thinking: On this degree, you’ll need to pay close attention to detail to prepare you for reading legal documents. This means that you’ll be able to spot any errors or lack of clarity, investigate what is meant, and suggest alternatives and solutions.
Research skills: A law degree requires lots of independent reading, so you’ll gain excellent research skills from the process of searching a wide range of resources, and identifying key information.
Clear communication: You’ll be learning how to communicate effectively, be this in written arguments or in group discussions, which will prepare you for a range of situations in the professional world.
Negotiation skills: You’ll need to be able to construct your arguments thoughtfully, in order to become a better negotiator and to win cases. This will help you achieve results for your business or client in the world of work.
Problem solving: You’ll be applying your legal knowledge to examples of real-life dilemmas. You’ll gain a willingness to solve problems as a result, which will give you a can-do attitude, important for helping you come across well in interviews and support a team in your job.
With a degree in law, you can become...
Here are some common careers for students who have done a degree in law…
As a solicitor, you prepare documentation for court cases. You may also offer advice and guidance to clients, but you won’t be the one representing them in court. So if you’re organised, analytical, and have super sharp attention to detail, you might find yourself happy working as a solicitor.
A barrister’s job is to advise and represent clients in court. So if you enjoy giving presentations and working with other people in a fast-paced job that really makes a difference in people’s lives, a barrister could be a great route for you.
If undertaking legal research, preparing legal documents, and offering legal advice appeals to you, a career as a paralegal might be a good fit. Becoming a paralegal requires less training than being a solicitor or barrister, so it’s a great option if you want to launch your career right away.
Your knowledge of the law will be of huge benefit to victims of crime in this role. As a victim advocate, you could work for a charity, providing legal advice to those affected by crime or changes in the law. You will help them navigate the legal system, learning their rights and accessing legal representation. You might also advise on support such as medical or mental health services, to help victims recover from the traumatic effects of their experience.
Civil service administrator
As a civil service administrator, you will help to ensure the smooth running of the country by providing support to different offices or government departments. The exact details of your role will depend on where you work, but overall these roles will call upon your organisational skills and your ability to communicate in person and in writing, and can be a great option if you don’t want to partake in further training after finishing your degree.
A degree in this subject might also take you to…
Whilst you might expect to pursue one of the above roles, there’s a whole range of careers a law degree could lead you to.
At the University of Winchester, the Careers and Opportunities Hub helps students to find part-time employment, take part in placements and enrichment activities, as well as search for graduate careers towards the end of their degrees. This means that as well as studying law, students gain a range of skills to support work in a variety of sectors.
Take a look at some of the roles Winchester graduates have moved on to.
Social Media Manager
The competences gained from negation and considering detail ensure that you have the skills to work to a client brief, and also consider the implications of social media posts to a wider audience. You’ll be choosing words carefully, making sure the voice of the organisation you are representing is portrayed in a way which is mindful of its impact. The role also involves creativity and working with a range of stakeholders, adapting messaging and creating successful campaigns.
You will have an in-depth knowledge of legal and commercial issues, along with excellent research skills, and the ability to solve disputes and problems effectively. All of these make a career in property a suitable option. Roles often involve contract negotiation on acquisitions, management and lettings and checking compliance with contractual obligations. This can include having responsibility for reading the small print and understanding the responsibilities the business has.
Secondary School Teacher
Whilst on your degree, you’ll develop your presentation skills, complete MOOTs, have discussions and need to justify your opinion. University can also help develop your confidence and organisation - both key skills for teaching. You could teach a subject you enjoyed at school, or one linked to the study of law such as history or politics. During the degree, there are opportunities to volunteer and complete placements to see if teaching is right for you.
Continuous Improvement Consultant
Some law graduates go on to work within insurance or claims roles, for example third party motor claims resulting from incidents, or aviation compensation claims. Not only is there a need for attention to detail, but considering improvements for customers is key. These processes can be challenging for those making the claim, for emotional and financial reasons, so looking for ways to ensure processes are fair, offer support and adapt to changing technology and customer expectations are essential skills.
Witness Care Officer
A degree in law can lead to work in the justice system, for charities or for the police. Duties can include ensuring victims and witnesses are updated on the progression of their case, preparing and supporting victims and witnesses for the court process and possible attendance at magistrates/crown courts to give evidence. There is also a great deal of teamwork, liaising with CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) lawyers, police officers and police staff on victim and witness issues and difficulties, escalating where appropriate.
15 months after graduating…
The average salary for a law student 15 months after graduating is £23,666. According to our stats, roughly 72% of these students have secured a graduate job by this point.
… and long term?
‘From signing contracts to looking at rental agreements, you’ll gain a huge range of independent skills on this degree which will enrich your life’ - Ruth Boyce, Future Students Team, University of Winchester
Want to know more about one of these careers? Visit the Careers library to learn all about what it entails, and how you can make your way there.
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