I talk a lot about law being a semi-vocational degree. You don’t have to become a professional lawyer just because you’ve studied law. This is something that Kitty Harris from start-up BrighterBox is very well aware of. I asked her to share her thoughts with us. Over to Kitty…
“Many people choose to study law because it’s a ‘safe’ degree – if you study hard then eventually you’re guaranteed a good job and a solid salary. This is mostly true if you decide you want to carry on into more advanced studies within the legal sector and progress into the role of a barrister or solicitor, but what if you don’t? BrighterBox sees a lot of graduates unsure about their next steps. It can take courage to identify that you don’t want to continue into the profession, but the good news is that it is entirely possible to change direction (and it happens more often than you think).
If you’ve had enough of law after your degree, then you might like to think about employers that hire based on your education and personality traits. Startups are a great overall industry to enter if you’re unsure about where your skills might be best suited. The work ethic within startups is usually a ‘pitch in” feeling. The best candidates are the ones that can juggle various types of work at once and aren’t afraid to cross into more than one department if they’re needed elsewhere – a good all-rounder is the only candidate necessary.
Employers are very welcoming towards a law degree, because it demonstrates that the candidate has been through a challenging and competitive course to get to where they are. Law degrees are notoriously tough. It stands to reason that any graduate from such a course would possess a reasonable degree of intelligence and resilience.
Legal Cheek lists law graduates attributes as “transferable skills”, “aptitude for learning” and “strong leadership and communication abilities”. You’re an attractive prospect for companies operating outside the legal industry! You can excel in almost any role. Have you thought about any of these?
Managing accounts usually rests on an ability to work with clients and bring in repeat business. You’ll need to ensure that existing clients are happy with your company’s services.
You’ve probably done some spoken presentations at some stage in your degree. You’ll have developed an ability to think on your feet and craft clear and concise arguments.
Customer Service and Operations
Remaining calm in the face of pressure and being able to communicate your reasoning whilst still taking the opposition’s arguments into account should be second nature to a law student. Dealing with disgruntled customers is no different.
HR and Recruitment
HR and recruitment focuses on the delicate management of people and therefore requires people who are great communicators and organised enough to be a go-between for two or more parties.
Business development has a heavy focus on generating new clients. Building a list of contacts is of paramount importance and those that are successful in this role are confident go-getters, happy with networking.
Most law degrees require interaction with both peers and professionals and many law graduates are comfortable meeting new people.
Law graduates are more likely to be suited to the side of marketing that deals with data collection and presenting the information to influence future marketing decisions.
A law degree does involve a fair bit of essay writing, so if you have a natural creative flair you might find yourself excelling in a marketing role that focusses heavily on content creation and copywriting.
Being able to process complex information and then present it in layman terms is helpful for digital marketers who need to justify expenditure in their department.
Most graduates are more than qualified for a role in administration – the main attributes required are often an organised mind and pro-active nature.
Devo Ritter, writing for The Muse put it very well when she said:
“If your dream role requires effective communication skills, you can be confident that through the Socratic method and trial experience, you’re a convincing communicator. If an employer is looking for someone who can expertly synthesise complex ideas into understandable formats, you can go ahead and thank all those case summaries and corporate law memos you wrote in law school—because complicated issues […] exist in every industry.”
If law isn’t the way that you see yourself going, then just pick a new path and work towards it. A law degree is is a stepping stone towards a multitude of careers.”
BrighterBox connects brilliant graduates with the fastest growing startup jobs in London, giving them the best chance in their career.