While many law graduates hope to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) and join a firm, this isn’t the case for everyone. The skills required to successfully complete an undergraduate law programme are highly sought after. If a career in law isn’t what appeals to you, a law degree can be a great starting point for a range of careers outside the legal sector.
For ambitious graduates, there are many ways to leverage the skills you’ve developed as part of your undergraduate course to make you an attractive candidate for employers across a range of sectors.
The public sector provides a wealth of opportunities and is well suited to those with a legal background. Encompassing everything from the NHS to local government and the civil service, there is a huge variety of roles to consider. Many of the skills developed during your time at university would be attractive to recruiters, including attention to detail, the ability to work under pressure and an interest in current affairs.
The Civil Service Fast Stream is a great option for graduates with an interest in public service who are looking for clear progression and hope to one day take on a leadership role. Ranked first in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employer listing for the second year running in 2020, the Fast Stream offers 15 schemes, covering everything from social research to technology and diplomacy.
Human Resources and Recruitment
A strong understanding of the law and legal practices can be hugely beneficial when it comes to understanding the complex legislation relating to pensions, recruitment and working conditions. Organisations in every sector have a need for HR professionals, making it a fantastic option for individuals who hope to have a broad and varied career.
A career in human resources also requires strong interpersonal skills, and the ability to work under pressure and process large volumes of documentation – making it highly suitable for law graduates.
Every year there are a huge number of opportunities to begin a career in human resources and even specialise in a particular area, such as recruitment or learning and development (L&D).
The complex nature of the insurance industry lends itself well to the analytical skills essential to a law degree. With legal training required as part of the Chartered Insurance Institute qualification, it is unsurprising that law graduates are highly sought after within the sector. Some specialist areas, such as underwriting, claims handling and investing, require the ability to investigate complex and contentious issues on behalf of insurance companies, and a strong understanding of legal principles.
With so many opportunities within the sector, insurance is a great option for graduates who have enjoyed the theoretical elements of their degree and hope to put this into practice.
Banking and Investment
Many banking and investment roles require an understanding of legal concepts, making it an area well suited for law graduates. Offering the opportunity to work in retail banking, investment banking or as part of a wealth management firm, the competitive nature of the sector makes it a good choice for individuals who enjoy a fast-paced, high-stakes work environment.
Most banking and investment firms do not require specific qualifications from graduates and are willing to recruit students who have not studied finance or economics-related degrees. Making it clear that you understand the demands of the role and how your education to date has prepared you will be important during the application process.
Research and Analysis
A career in research and analysis is ideal for graduates who have enjoyed the theoretical elements of their degree but do not wish to practise. Skills that have been developed during your undergraduate course — including the ability to process and decipher huge amounts of information, strong attention to detail and being highly analytical — are sought after within the sector.
Providing the opportunity to work across industries and on a range of different projects, research and analysis roles are a great option for individuals who are hoping to find a career that lends itself to the academic rigour of a law degree.
Far beyond your degree, it is important that you can show a genuine interest in the sector you’re considering. Taking the time to explain how your degree has prepared you for the next stage in your career — from managing a demanding workload to developing a strong attention to detail or excellent communications skills — will help you stand out when interviewing.
The best piece of advice would be to reach out and try and speak to someone who works in the sector you’re interested in. This can help you get a better understanding of the industry and the job roles on offer, and ultimately help you decide if it is the right career for you.