The Legal sector after COVID-19

Welcome to the first post in a new series of updates aimed at law (LL.B) and non-law (everything else) students who are interested in pursuing a career in the legal sector.

All sectors are experiencing challenges due to the current pandemic, but the legal sector has the double whammy of also bracing itself for the new system of legal education to qualify as a Solicitor and as a Barrister. So there’s multiple factors at play.

This blog will be blissfully brief, and offers 3 things:

One Overview

Two Tips

Three Resources

But first, a simple message – there are no certainties. No one knows what the next couple of years will look like. So let’s keep connected, keep well informed, and keep focused on the long game.

One overview

Too soon to tell what the impact all of this is going to be on the legal sector. The economic realities will hit the legal sector like any other, but law firms are resilient, and conduct diverse areas of work – like a set of scales, as one area suffers a downturn (say, mergers/acquisitions, real estate, conveyancing), others areas may see a busy period (probate, business recovery/restructure, litigation). There will be areas of growth and common sense asks – what legal services are needed during and after this crisis?

Watch out for more news on smaller law firms, the so-called ‘High Street’. According to recent research conducted by the Law Society, 75% of small firms surveyed said they are likely to close – a dreadful statistic. So, it begs the question, ‘What about access to justice for those already struggling post-pandemic?’ For students, is this an opportunity to add value as a volunteer or fundraiser? Just a thought. 

Two tips

Setting aside time to read about the sector has 2 benefits:

  • It gives you an idea of what kind of news you find interesting, what legal employers exist and what clients you’d like to represent – this will inform your applications/further research
  • It builds your commercial awareness, demonstrates a genuine interest in the wider world and improves your research skills

Think constructively about what skills and areas of law are likely to be in demand after the height of COVID-19. What will people and businesses need help and advice around? That could be you.

Three resources

Given our focus today on the sector generally, I thought I’d direct you to some websites that are an excellent way of hearing about what’s going on ‘out there’. I’d recommend signing up to their email newsletters.

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