I went to a meeting recently where I met a number of graduates, some with law degrees, most with degrees across the disciplines, who have landed jobs that have a legal element to them.
I have listed details below but a common theme was how each graduate describes ‘falling’ into the role – none of them even knew the roles existed before they saw them advertised and it was very much a shot into the unknown.
The general message from these graduates was to keep an open mind, keep networking and keep your eyes and ears open. Have a look at these:
Lara applied for this role that asked, ‘Do you love languages and cryptic crosswords?’ As a PhD graduate in languages she was looking for a career outside of academia but didn’t know where to start. By speaking to people, and searching for vacancies, she eventually came across this role which protects their clients’ Trademarks. She protects some of the most famous brand names on the planet and combines her love of words with love of problem-solving. Have a look at http://www.insidecareers.co.uk/career-advice/a-careers-as-a-trade-mark-attorney/
Fabia told us that these roles are found in most companies, to make sure the Directors are doing what they should be doing and the business is well organised and fulfilling its obligations to shareholders, the taxman and Companies House. They are not advertised in one single place so the route in needs imagination, perseverance and chatting to people to find out where the roles are. No previous experience needed, but it would suit someone with strong organisational and analytical skills. It is a role that sits right at the heart of the business, but with good work/life balance. See https://targetjobs.co.uk/careers-advice/job-descriptions/279089-company-secretary-job-description
I met a History Grad whose first application to the Civil Service was rejected, so he spent a year working for a Housing Office before re-applying. He has held positions in diverse areas, including Police Pay Review, Immigration, Operation Cobra… the diversity of opportunity is endless and you can forge a very unique career to fit your own talents and aspirations. Start your research at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/civil-service-fast-stream
There is an advantage here to having an LL.B but equally important is an attention to detail, able to work to deadlines and an interest in the process of litigation. No previous experience required and this is a very buoyant and growing sector so there are real opportunities for graduates in law firms and in independent Costs Companies. Start your research at http://www.associationofcostslawyers.co.uk/ and also look at individual law firm websites.
This is such a growth area at the moment – risk is a hot topic and the trend is continuing. Lauren completed a law degree but did not want to be a lawyer so started in a very junior role in risk to see how she liked it. She did like it so has now developed into a more senior position. The role is basically to advise the business on how to limit its exposure to risk – things like money laundering, conflict of interest acting for 2 competing businesses, data protection. All high level stuff, and requiring an interest in legal aspects of running a business. Look at https://targetjobs.co.uk/career-sectors/financial-services-and-insurance/283705-regulation-and-compliance-graduate-area-of-work. Also explore the websites of individual law firms.
And finally … remember to connect with your Careers Service, available for 2 years after Graduation.
By Bernadette Lyons