If you have strong problem-solving skills, the ability to understand and assimilate information quickly, and attention to detail, a career in law could be for you.

It’s a popular choice for many students with a diverse range of interesting career options, attractive earnings potential and job stability. TV dramas and films have played a role in making legal roles appear even more attractive, but it’s also a favoured choice for those wanting to be an instrument of change, uphold social justice, help others and play a hand in tackling the big issues.

In this way, law is a rewarding, responsible and socially valued job that can be filled with impactful and life-changing work. Despite the lengthy study period to qualify in the legal profession, it’s an interesting subject to study well-suited to those who enjoy challenging tasks and practical problem-solving. Plus, there’s plenty of large legal firms, mid-sized practices and private firms based here in Stockport, all vying for the latest trainees, apprentices and graduates.

Labour Market Information

The legal sector is a pretty robust and safe career choice, but that doesn’t mean it escaped the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Law firms and their clients felt the commercial consequences together with the strain of rapidly changing legislative requirements and the practical restrictions of lockdowns, social distancing and home working.

Technology, innovation and agile working therefore became essential tools for those firms looking to survive and thrive post-pandemic. Indeed, some firms even worked on virtual trials and it’s likely many of the ‘disruptions’ from Covid will lead to positive changes being here to stay.

Looking ahead to the future, the legal profession faces both risks and opportunities from increases in law firm mergers, a growth in outsourcing, and new types of legal services and forms of delivery emerging. There is also an increased focus on environmental, governance and social factors such as diversity and corporate values.

Across our borough, the emergence of new legal firms and expansion of existing ones means exciting times, as aspiring law candidates no longer need to look to the bigger cities to kickstart and grow their legal career.

Starting Salary

£12.00 per hour or £18,000
per annum

Typical Salary Range

£18,000 – £90,000+
per annum

Working Hours

37 to 50 hours per week, between 9am and 5pm or on-call

Working in Law

Jobs in the legal profession can be highly competitive so you’ll need to be able to demonstrate a broad mix of competencies, including skills like:

  • Business acumen
  • Attention to detail
  • Communication skills
  • Team-working
  • Independent research and information analysis
  • Organisation and time management
  • Ability to work to deadlines and cope under pressure
  • Problem-solving and initiative
  • Resilience and perseverance
  • Decision making

Studying for a career in law can take five to six years, so it’s highly recommended that you gain some work experience first to get an insight into the practical workings of the legal system and the day-to-day duties of your chosen profession. This will help you decide whether or not you have the skills and motivation to commit to the training long-term.

You could then start your training straight from leaving school or college with a training contract at a law firm or legal practice, such as apprenticeship or CILEx (Chartered Institute of Legal Executives) Qualification. Alternatively, you could choose to go to college to study A-Levels in Law and related subjects or a T-Level in Crime, Criminal Justice and Social Welfare for example.

You could then choose to go to university to study a qualifying Law Degree (LLB) or an unrelated degree followed by a top-up diploma or preparation course. If you then wish to become a solicitor, you will need to complete the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) – which is due to replace the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and Legal Practice Course (LPC) – followed by two years of qualifying legal work experience. If you wish to become a barrister, you will need a law degree, a Bar course and a pupillage/training contract.

Alternatively, you can complete a Solicitor Apprenticeship (a six-year, Level 7 qualification equivalent to a degree following completion of your A-Levels) or take the new CILEx Professional Qualification route (from Foundation to Advanced to Professional).

When thinking about a job in the legal profession, solicitors and barristers are the jobs that come to mind first. But there’s plenty of different law jobs to choose from, including:

  • Bailiff
  • Barrister or Barristers Clerk
  • Company Secretary
  • Conveyancer
  • Court administrator or advisor
  • Crown prosecutor
  • Family Mediator
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Immigration advisor
  • Legal secretary
  • Magistrate
  • Paralegal
  • Probation officer
  • Solicitor

Once you start your career in law, there’s plenty of routes upwards or across into certain areas of legal specialism. You could gain a promotion from associate to senior or managing associate to partner over several years, but this depends on the size and structure of the firm you are part of.  You could also choose to become a solo practitioner or consultant and grow your own client base and team.

As the legal sector is constantly evolving as laws change and firms seek to innovate, there are likely to be new areas to move into – particularly those embracing new technologies and responding to environmental, social and governance factors.

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