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Lawyer

Introduction

A career as a lawyer is highly rewarding. You will need an analytical mind and a high attention to detail to succeed in this competitive field.

Career Overview

Lawyers work in several different fields including criminal law, family law and commercial. Most barristers represent people or companies in court. They are also available to give independent legal advice and are hired by solicitors to represent them.

Most lawyer are self-employed but you can also work for the Crown Prosecution Service and the Government Legal Service. If you are self-employed, you work in chambers which you share with other lawyers.

As you become more senior, you will become involved with developing policies and strategy. You will also be involved in the hiring and training of new recruits.

You will usually specialise in a particular type of law which includes criminal, family, housing or personal injury, estates and trusts, entertainment or sports.

As a lawyer you will have to

  • Speak to clients and solicitors to understand what they need
  • Research points of law to uphold your legal argument
  • Understand and interpret the law to apply it to your case
  • Advise solicitors and other legal professionals about points of law and cases
  • Represent clients in court and presenting arguments
  • Draft legal documents and preparing a case for court
  • Exam and cross-exam witnesses
  • Negotiate settlements or mediating between parties

Career Prospects

Once you complete this Career Package or finish studies at university, you can apply to become a junior lawyer. You will start with small, simple cases and they will gradually become more serious and complex as you move through your career.

Developing your reputation and finding a specialism is important to further your profession. Joining the Young Barrister’s Committee when you first begin your career can help create contacts and open up more opportunities.

Your career progression and success is based on the cases you deal with in court. Some lawyers will “take silk” and become a Queen’s Counsel (QC) who deal with the most serious cases or becoming an assistant judge.

Alternatively, you can work as an in-house lawyer at a commercial company and advice on legal issues. From there you can progress to managing a team or becoming a member of senior management.

Academic Route

Choose three A-Levels to study as part of this career package.

Professional Route

Choose one of these courses to study as part of this career package.