What else can I do with a law degree?

What else can I do with a law degree?

If you’re a law student or graduate and you’re having second thoughts about whether you want to work as a solicitor or barrister there are plenty of career paths open to you.

Whether you’re interested in a career that will make direct use of your legal knowledge or want to change direction and work in a different industry then this guide is for you.

It should help you think about the skills you have, the jobs they can be applied to, and the options available.

Skills for your CV

Some of the other skills you will have picked up include:

  • communication skills
  • ability to state a case (orally as well as in writing)
  • good analytical skills
  • problem solving skills
  • ability to see the bigger picture
  • assimilation of facts
  • self-management
  • precise expression (especially in writing)

Job roles and career areas you could work in

One obvious career option is to seek work as a legal executive. Alternative career areas that are popular with law graduates include finance, marketing and HR.

Some jobs you could go on to do include:

  • advice worker
  • bank manager
  • Civil Service administrator
  • customs officer
  • lecturer
  • insurance claims inspector
  • insurance underwriter
  • legal clerk
  • legal secretary
  • local government administrator
  • police officer
  • probation officer
  • trading standards officer

What do law graduates go on to do?

Here’s what law graduates who finished their degrees in 2016 were doing six months after graduating, according to the What do graduates do? report published in 2017.

Destination Percentage
Full-time employment in the UK 39.4
Part-time employment in the UK 8.5
Working overseas 1.1
Working and studying 10.5
Further study 30.8
Unemployed 4.9
Other 4.8

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

Key areas of employment for fresh law graduates

These are the top five areas of work taken up by 2016 law graduates six months after graduation, according to the 2017 What do graduates do? report.

Areas of employment Percentage
Legal, social and welfare professionals 33.8
Retail, catering, waiting and bar staff 13.9
Clerical, secretarial and numerical clerks 12.3
Business, HR and finance professionals 12.0
Other professionals 6.9

Source: What do graduates do? 2017

Which careers attract law students?

Law solicitors was the most popular career choice for law students identified by a 2017 survey of more than 60,000 undergraduates carried out by trendence UK, a partner of TARGETjobs’ parent company GTI. 78% of law students who participated in the survey said they were interested in this area, while 67% said they were interested in careers as barristers. The most popular careers for law students were as follows:

Career sights Percentage
Law – solicitors 78% expressed an interest
Law – barristers 67
Banking, insurance and financial services 3
Public sector 3

Source: trendence UK Graduate Study 2017

Famous people with law degrees

If none of those careers are for you, don’t worry. Think about what the world might have lost if these people had gone down a different degree path:

  • Nicola Sturgeon – originally became a solicitor after graduating but then moved into politics, eventually becoming first minister of Scotland.
  • Harper Lee – author of To Kill a Mockingbird, featuring fictional lawyer Atticus Finch.
  • Rebel Wilson – plays the role of student a cappella singer Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect films, and was once a student in real life: she has a Bachelor of Laws degree.
  • Jon Snow – journalist and Channel 4 presenter… not the Game of Thrones character.
  • Hilary Mantel – author of Wolf Hall, a novel about the Tudor lawyer Thomas Cromwell.
  • Gerard Butler – studied at the University of Glasgow and initially began to train as a lawyer before becoming an actor.

Alternatively, try looking at our list of twelve jobs you can do with a law degree.