Live Q&A: What to do with a degree in law?

There’s a strong connection between studying a law degree and going on to work in the legal profession. However, before you present us with the obvious fact of the week award, it’s not the case that every law student will go on to don a barrister’s wig, or become a solicitor.

And, unless you’re utterly convinced, to borrow some legal terminology, beyond a reasonable doubt, that a high-flying law career is for you, it’s important to remember there are other choices out there, according to blogger Tim Bratton.

He wrote: “If you want to go and work in Big Law having thought about it, then great, it offers an excellent career. But do it because you want to, not because you turned up to a milkround and it seemed like the easy thing to do.”

He’s right; there are plenty of alternative professions for law students who decide they don’t have their heart set on the legal profession. Plus, there are many sectors which value the skills they have picked up along the way.

Popular types of work are marketing, within the business and finance sector and social and welfare careers, according to a recent Guardian Money piece. Law graduates’ skills would also come in very handy in human resources management, accountancy, the patent agency, trading standards, the police service and advice work, Margaret Holbrough, a careers adviser at Graduate Prospects, pointed out in the piece.

So, if you’ve got a law degree and you’d like to know more about what awaits post-graduation, we’re holding a live Q&A to offer you advice. We’ll be examining the whole spectrum of legal careers and postgraduate training, as well as other sectors which value a law graduate, so join us on Wednesday 27 July – advance questions welcome.

To keep up-to-date with our regular Q&A sessions, you can now sign-up for our newsletter here.

Our panel:

Patrice Ware is a careers adviser at UCL (University College London). Her responsibilities at UCL include specialist careers work with students and staff in the Faculty of Laws.

Judith Baines is a careers adviser at the London School of Economics. She has specialised in working with law students and those interested in a legal career for more than six years and also writes the LSELawCareers Blog.

Jess Guth is a lecturer at Bradford University Law School. She teaches EU law and employment law.

Zoe Ollerenshaw teaches contract law, commercial law and company law modules at The University of Sheffield’s School of Law. She is also an admission tutor and a qualified solicitor.

D Hutchings specialised in criminal defence before making a career change into a creative and communications based role. He is currently communication officer at Princess Alice Hospice.

Dr Karen Hulme is a senior lecturer in the School of Law at the University of Essex. Karen is also founder and director of the Essex Law Clinic – a pro bono legal advice service.

Charlie Ball
 is deputy research director at The Higher Education Careers Service (HECSU), a charity which provides news and information about research and development in career-related learning and career guidance in higher education.

Hayley Smith is graduate recruitment adviser at international law firm Clifford Chance.

Dr Giles Proctor is a solicitor and head of Kaplan Law School. Formerly in practice as a corporate/commercial lawyer, he now oversees the training of postgraduate lawyers aiming for the bar or the solicitors’ profession.

Chris Allen is the managing partner at Leeds law firm Blacks Solicitors LLP. Chris has more than 20 years experience in the industry.

John Peysner is a solicitor and professor of civil justice at Lincoln Law School, University of Lincoln. John is also head of Lincoln Law School.

Sarah Gale is a solicitor and deputy course director for the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) at The City Law School, City University London.

Paul Hutchinson is a representative of the Institute of Legal Executives, a professional body and provider of legal education.

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