Why study law? To become a lawyer, right? Well, not necessarily. Not every law student has aspirations of becoming a solicitor or barrister. Legal training gives you a whole host of transferable skills and many businesses – regardless of sector – are keen to recruit law graduates for this reason alone. Analysis, research, communication, risk assessment and problem-solving skills are central to success, not just for barristers, but for many other professions too.
There’s definitely some truth behind that oft repeated advice, “You can do anything with a law degree.” Here are eight alternative career paths that may just appeal to you.
1 Legal publishing
Specialist legal publishers often employ people with a legal background to write, edit and commission content for their printed and online publications. Recruiters can feel confident that candidates with law degrees have the skills needed to succeed in legal publishing. From attention to detail and the ability to write informative, engaging copy to research skills and commercial-mindedness – these are all talents that will serve you well in this industry.
2 Banking and financial
A career in finance can be demanding. You’ll need to be able to display an aptitude for negotiation, diplomacy and intellectual meticulousness – skills that should come easily to law graduates. So-called ‘City’ careers are awash with graduate opportunities, whether in investment banks, accountancy firms or insurance brokers. Take the time to research the sector so you can focus on the right area of finance for you.
3 Houses of Parliament
If you’ve worked hard to gain your law degree, why not put it into practice where new laws are approved? There are a limited number of clerkships available in the House of Lords and could suit your skillset impeccably. As one of these clerks you could find yourself advising on practice and procedure, drafting reports, organising inquiries, or directly supporting key departments.
4 Management consultancy
As a consultant, knowledge of the legal sector is always going to stand you in good stead. Management consultants need to be able to interact with employees across the organisation and give workable advice on how businesses can improve. You also need to have keen research skills as companies will expect you to become fully versed with their industry and business at break-neck speed.
A career in compliance requires the ability to ensure a business adheres to financial regulations and principles and to provide relevant information to the regulator. Many compliance jobs will specify the candidate has a mathematical, business or law-based degree. If this is the path you choose, who knows the sector you may find yourself working in.
Working for HM Revenue & Customs doesn’t just mean collecting tax, its remit also includes ensuring that the minimum wage is paid by businesses, making sure tax credits are distributed correctly and co-ordinating the repayment of student loans. If you have a logical mind and can apply the law to a range of situations, this one is for you.
7 Tax consultancy
In the world of taxation, the HMRC is one side and tax consultancy is on the other, and you might find advising businesses and clients on tax issues and solutions a more interesting option. With new legislation being introduced every year, experience in analysing legal changes is something recruiters look out for in candidates. They are also looking for evidence of persuasion, problem solving, and building strong relationships with clients.
8 Town planning
It may not be something you automatically associate with the law, but town planning requires attention to detail, communication and negotiation skills. A law degree will serve you well if this is a career you are interested in. So why not?
Here at Lucy Bristow Appointments we are committed to providing the very best advice and support for all our candidates. As recruiters for the legal profession in Bristol and the South West we regularly work with law firms to source legal graduates, but we would certainly recognise the value of a law degree to other employers looking for similar skills in other industries. The competencies gained from a degree in law open up an array of alternative career opportunities with excellent future prospects.
Where will your law degree take you?