Alternative Jobs within the Law
- United Nations Legal Job openings at the Office of Legal Affairs are managed by the United Nations Office for Human Resources Management: http://legal.un.org/ola/employ.aspx
- Chartered Legal Executives ⇒ Both graduates and non-graduates can work in a legal office, with the option to later qualify as a solicitor through further vocational training. The process is arduous, but it enables non-graduates to earn while they learn: http://www.cilex.org.uk/
- Court Usher ⇒ Law graduates may find working as a court usher of interest. Ushers’ duties include escorting judges to and from court, preparing and closing courtrooms. A large part of the job is the carrying out of court duties, this includes obtaining names of legal representatives, preparing court lists, maintaining order in the courtroom, administering oaths in court, and handing round exhibits. Vacancies are advertised on HMCS website: https://www.civilservicejobs.service.gov.uk/csr/jobs.cgi
- Researcher at the Law Commission ⇒ Every year the Law Commission recruits an intake of research assistants to work on legal review and reform projects. Posts are temporary and last for twelve months: http://www.lawcom.gov.uk/
- Law Costs Draftsman ⇒ Law costs draftsmen ensure that a firm’s clients are properly charged for work undertaken on the clients’ behalf. Many law costs draftsmen are school-leavers. Completion of a two-year, learn-while-you-earn course is required to qualify: http://www.associationofcostslawyers.co.uk/train-to-be-a-costs-lawyer/
- Legal Cashiers ⇒ Legal cashiers usually work in solicitors’ practices. They keep financial records and keep solicitors informed of the financial position of the firm: http://www.ilfm.org.uk/site/about/
- Legal Secretary ⇒ Legal secretaries provide secretarial and clerical support to solicitors, barristers and the law courts. Positions can usually be found by contacting firms directly or checking with local recruitment agencies: https://www.institutelegalsecretaries.com/
- Government Legal Service ⇒ Lawyers in the Government Legal Service provide legal advice to the government and represent it in court proceedings: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/civil-service-government-legal-service
Outside the law
- The Civil Service fast stream ⇒ https://www.gov.uk/faststream
- Work for an MP or political organisation ⇒ http://www.w4mp.org/
- The police service ⇒ http://recruit.college.police.uk/Pages/home.aspx
- The company secretary ⇒ https://www.icsa.org.uk/home
- Teaching ⇒ http://graduates.teachfirst.org.uk/
Legal executives generally do much the same as a solicitor, for example having their own clients and representing them in court in some situations. The difference is that a legal executive is a qualified lawyer who is trained to specialise as an expert in a particular area of law, whereas solicitors have a broader, more general legal training. In order to become a legal executive, you will need to complete qualifications provided by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives.
Barristers’ chambers employ clerks, who are responsible for running the administration and business activities of the chambers. The clerks manage the barristers’ diaries and so must be familiar with court procedures and the types of law which the members of chambers practice. You don’t need to have a law degree to become a clerk but relevant experience is advantageous.
Paralegals assist solicitors and barristers in legal work; most paralegals nowadays have a law degree or some kind of legal training although there is no formal route into the job.