Birmingham Law School is committed to supporting students’ employability and providing opportunities for personal development. The Law School maintains strong links with the professional world, through our network of alumni and contacts in the barristers’ and solicitors’ professions. These links allow us to put on a series of law careers events throughout the academic year, under the banner of our new and innovative Centre for Professional Legal Education and Research (CEPLER). A team of academics coordinate our careers provision, coordinated by the Director of Careers, currently Mr James Lee.
Several of our academics have experience as legal professionals, whether as barristers or solicitors or through roles in the administration of justice and consultancy.
Traditionally, a large proportion of Birmingham law graduates (LLB,GDL) go on to further vocational law training through the Legal Practice Course and Bar Professional Training Course in order to qualify as solicitors and barristers, with the majority choosing the solicitor route.
LLM graduates choose to further their academic credentials by undertaking research, entering the legal profession or by pursuing a wide range of other careers using their legal expertise.
Personalised career advice
The School offers a distinctive approach to careers and employability. Every student has a personal tutor, who can provide individual careers advice, and you will have the opportunity to ask questions about careers at every progress review.
Each year, the School offers a range of initiatives directed to improving your employability and to enhancing your understanding of careers options. The School also provides several careers schemes tailored for students in each year of study, including a lecture on employability skills in the curriculum.
Sophie Dearsley, LLB Graduate (2012) and future trainee at international law firm Herbert Smith. The Law School is dedicated to helping students find a career that suits them individually by arranging presentation evenings and workshops with various law firms. I found this to be a valuable experience as I was able to meet my potential employers and make an informed decision of the type of firm I would like to work for"
Alternative careers for law graduates
The Law School organises events to enable our students to learn about careers in areas other than the legal professions. Some of our recent graduates have gone on to roles with graduate entry schemes in accountancy, the Civil Service and regulation, amongst many others. We are increasing the number of such events, and arranging alumni contacts in these various careers to offer advice to current students. We also work with the University Careers and Employability Centre (see below) which is an excellent source of extra information about non-legal careers.
University Careers and Employability Centre
The University's Careers and Employability Centre organises a wide range of employer events including presentations by top law firms and the annual Law Fair. It also runs a series of career planning and job seeking workshops to help students prepare for their next move. A CV clinic and applications workshops are offered, where students can receive hints and tips on making their application as polished as possible. The Centre can give you valuable help and support in researching and choosing what you will do next. Information and advice is available at any point during your studies. In particular, it is an excellent source of information about non-legal careers
Skills and employability
Our Law graduates develop a variety of skills through their studies, such as oral and written communication, analysis and evaluation, problem solving, independent working and research skills. Combined with a strong academic background, these skills are highly valued by employers, both within and outside of the legal profession. Whatever your choice of career, therefore, a law degree from Birmingham, one of the leading law schools and universities in the country, will stand you in good stead.
Provisional results from the annual Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) survey show that our focus on improving the career opportunities and guidance offered to Law students has led to a significant improvement in graduate employability rates. In 2011 a total of 83.6% were in graduate-level employment or postgraduate education 6 months after graduating, compared to 77.1% for 2010. With the introduction of CEPLER in the 2012-13, academic year we hope to see further improvements.