Careers Lecture: To be or not to be... a lawyer

 Thursday 9th October 2014: Presented by Emily Carroll


Report by Maxine Nutting, CEPLER Correspondent

This talk described legal occupations and how they are evolving; it was ideal for someone unsure what they’re interested in doing. Emily stressed the struggles of working in law, but also painted a rewarding picture: with a 1.5% slice of the GDP last year, working hard can definitely pay off impressively.

Common legal career paths are:

  • Barristers: contentious work in Court, alongside occasional guidance letters. Look for: mini-pupillages; pupillages; sponsorships
  • Solicitors: a huge variety of work for both individuals and big corporations. Look for: open days; networking events; vacation schemes and training contracts
  • Paralegals: trained in some legal tasks and increasingly essential to law firms
  • Legal Executives: specialists in certain areas of law, with much narrower training

So, what is the future of the legal landscape? Emily recommended Richard Susskind’s book*, which predicts huge technological developments (e.g. client files on cloud storage, constantly updated and available); and a more managerial approach to task delegation as clients demand lower fees.

The key message is that law is diverse, and there’s a lot of ways to get involved. This means that experience is vital, as it’s the only way to find the job you enjoy!

*’Tomorrow’s Lawyers’ (2013)