So, you want to be a lawyer?

The legal profession continues to be a popular career choice. Whether you knew this was the path for you during education, or you realised this later in life. If you think this may be the path for you – you’re in the right place! Wherever you’re at in this journey, here are some considerations or useful pieces of advice as you navigate your legal career journey…

handing in your notice

Starting your journey

Whatever your motivation for becoming a lawyer – a passion for justice, interest in a specific legal area, a desire for a challenging and rewarding career – knowing where to start will help to step you up for success.

  • Research the profession – There is so much access to legal blogs, and accounts of the daily lives of lawyers out there. Read up on them! This will give you a realistic view on what it is like to work as a lawyer.
  • Understanding qualifications – There are many pathways into a legal career, so take the time to understand the best route for you. (More on this later!)
  • Evaluate and plan – Once you’ve got a clear idea on if this profession is for you – start planning! We can only get to where we want to be by putting things into practice.


As mentioned, there are many pathways into the legal profession. Whether you’re a law graduate or not – there are options! So let’s break it down…

Law Graduates will know that there are some additional courses to complete after your undergraduate degree – the LPC (Legal Practice Course) or the Solicitors Qualifying Exam, securing a training contract and completing the professional skills course.

Non-law Graduates will have to take a different route. You can complete the GDL (graduate diploma in Law) or the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam.

Of course, gaining relevant work experience through internships or shadowing is a great way to gain exposure to the legal industry – and is important at the beginning of your legal career. You can also undertake certain legal roles, like paralegal or fee earning positions without qualifications. However, at a certain point, to progress your career, you may want to consider undertaking qualifications. Certain law firms or positions might require qualified candidates for certain roles.

There are alternative careers within the legal industry that might work for you, too. Check out our blog on alternate career paths.

Engaging with the legal community

Seeking out mentors within the legal community who can provide guidance, support and valuable advice or connections is a great way to keep you on track during your legal career journey.

Attending legal events and networking opportunities can lead you to identifying and connecting with current lawyers, gain insights and advice.

Engaging with legal forums, discussions on LinkedIn and reading legal blogs will help you to stay updated in the legal field and help you to understand the daily reality of the profession.


It is important to explore the different and varied areas of law to find the best fit for your interests, skills and work-life balance preferences.

  • Areas such as commercial law and conveyancing can require long hours, be highly pressurised and be fast paced.
  • Family, criminal and private client law require sensitivity and client focussed skills.
  • Civil litigation can cover a range of issues and requires a lot of preparation.

It is highly important to know and understand what your preferred area of law might require from you, and where your skills are best placed. Re-training can be difficult once you have begun your legal career in a certain area of law.

Is it right for you?

The legal industry is not without challenges. It can be demanding, require long hours, be stressful and frustrating. This means that you must be prepared to take it on with dedication and commitment – and that may not be for everyone.

Challenging careers are often rewarding, too. So don’t let the challenges put you off – take it with a pinch of salt and move forward with determination. Ultimately, only you know what is right for you – and you may never know if you don’t try!

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