Becoming a Lawyer

University of LawPresentation by University of Law Becoming a Lawyer

On 4th October, between 3:15pm – 4pm over 20 students attend the fourth talk, with Richard Palmer, Student Recruitment Officer from the University of Law, who talked to students about careers in law.


  • Who can be a Lawyer: Lawyers come from every walk of life, and from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
  • Why choose Law? It offers a variety of challenges; There are a variety of career choices available; A law career has many benefits; Career progression; and Career freedom.
  • Most important qualities in a Lawyer: Integrity; honesty and communication skills.
  • Top reasons students want to become a Solicitor: intellectual challenge; interesting and varied work and wanting to help people.
  • Top reasons students want to become a Barrister: An interest in law; Intellectual challenge and wanting to help people.
  • What areas of law are aspiring Solicitors most interested in: 30% - company/commercial law; 11% - family law; 8% - human rights.
  • What areas of law are aspiring Barristers most interested in: 30% - criminal law; 17% - human rights; 14% - company/commercial law.
  • What type of Lawyer can I be? A Solicitor – works closely with clients and are usually their first point of contact; Regularly undertake fundamental legal transactions on behalf of clients; represents clients in police stations and work in practice, in-house, in companies or local central government.
  • A Barrister – Goes to court to argue cases on behalf of clients; Gives specialised legal advice on specific and detailed points of law. Drafts and researches the law and assist with government policies and are mainly
  • self-employed and based in chambers.

What are the main types of law?

  1. Criminal Law: Offences (sometimes violent involving people or property). People accused of a crime are tried in magistrates’ courts and crown courts.
  2. Civil: Conflicts between individuals within the community, decided by a Judge in the county courts and the High Court. Most laws we know are civil law.
  3. Non-contentious: Commercial contracts, finance agreements, wills, conveyancing and many other areas where there is no dispute, which are also ruled over by a judge in the County Courts and the High Court.

How do I become a Lawyer?: The traditional route to becoming a Barrister or Solicitor is by taking a qualifying law degree (LLB). Alternatively you can take a degree in another subject and still become a lawyer by taking a one year law conversion course (GDL – Graduate Diploma in Law) after you have graduated. There is no disadvantage to entering this profession via this route.

Training - The first steps: Once you have completed your academic courses, you will then move to on-the-job training for 2 years.

What areas of law are there? Intellectual Property; Banking & Finance; Consumer; Civil Litigation; Property; Employment; Shipping & Aviation; Environment; Construction; Competition & EU Law; Immigration & Asylum; Tax; Family; Human Rights; Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence; Data Protection; Charity and Housing.

What else can I do with a Law Degree? Journalism; Politics; HR; Teaching; Finance and joining the Police force.

If students are interested in finding out more about any of the points listed above or anything else to do with applying for Law, please speak to Mr Roach in the Careers Office, next to room V3, between Tuesday and Friday. Those students that attended this talk will all receive a Certificate of Attendance.