aerial photo of a graduation ceremony

If you are thinking about a career in law, and a training contract with a law firm, it doesn’t make a difference whether you have a Law Degree or a Non-Law Degree. The key component is making sure you get good and relevant work experience to ensure this is the career path you want to follow because you need to be open minded, resilient and a good communicator to succeed.

Two of our now-qualified trainees, Beth and Jess, came in through different routes but both brought excellent skills that are equally as valuable.

Law Degree

If you are interested working in the legal profession, I highly recommend a law degree. Choosing to study law for 3 years is a sign of your commitment, but in a highly competitive environment where others are also studying law or a non-law degree with many transferrable skills and gaining other relevant legal experience it is only the start.

A law degree gives you the opportunity to introduce yourself to and study many different areas of law. This is the chance to begin to get an idea of which areas you find most interesting, would like to get some work experience in, or may ultimately consider for a seat on a training contract. Whilst practising law is very different to studying it, a law degree will also teach you valuable skills which are transferrable to practice. You will learn to work with legislation and case law and how to do legal research.

It is crucial to use your law degree as a platform to gain more experiences and advantages to make your application for a training contract stand out. My advice is to throw yourself into everything doing a law degree and being a law student has to offer. Go to law events, get involved in pro bono and other opportunities, and most importantly secure some work experience.

Non-Law Degree

Coming from a non-law background gives you all kinds of advantages in your applications and plenty of opportunities to demonstrate a unique set of skills – after all, a majority of applicants will have had similar experiences studying the LLB. Do your homework and use this to your advantage.

My top tip for anyone applying for a training contract, especially coming from a non-law background, is that work experience is an absolute must-have. You will have to work a little bit harder to show that you are committed, but also remember that it is a long (and expensive!) route to qualification and you need to make sure that it is right for you. You might have to be creative in securing work experience, especially if you don’t have friends or family members in the profession. Go to law fairs and networking events and join the Law Society at university. Knock on doors if you have to! As a lawyer you will face challenges every day, and this is your chance to demonstrate your resilience and dedication to the profession.