DESIGNED BY SHAW MARKETING AND DESIGN. Careers with a law degree

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1 DESIGNED BY SHAW MARKETING AND DESIGN Careers with a law degree

2 Whether or not you become a solicitor, a law degree can help you pursue a successful career. A career as a solicitor Many of those who study law go on to qualify as a solicitor. There are many career choices within the profession, whether you work for a law firm or a non-legal organisation. Private practice A solicitor in private practice can either be a general practitioner in law or a specialist, which is becoming more common due to the increasing complexity of the law. A solicitor in private practice might work in: Advising private clients about all personal and business legal issues Commercial law advising businesses large and small on the numerous and detailed provisions of company, partnership and insolvency law Courts working on cases in the civil and criminal courts and in tribunals or settling disputes out of court Conveyancing buying and selling property, arranging loans, preparing title deeds and other legal documents for clients Estate work the management of landed estates in rural areas Financial services advising on mortgages and investments Wills, executries and trusts advising on and preparing wills, administering and distributing funds after a death and settling tax liabilities

3 In-house In-house solicitors are those who work for non-legal organisations such as public bodies and large companies. A wide range of organisations employ in-house solicitors, including: Central and local government the Scottish Parliament and other government departments and bodies Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service part of the government legal service. Procurators fiscal are responsible for the investigation and prosecution of crime and the investigation of sudden, unexplained and suspicious deaths Banks and financial institutions all the major Scottish banks, some merchant banks and building societies Construction several large construction, private house building and property development companies Oil Industry multinational oil companies, many with offices in Aberdeen Insurance companies the large Scottish insurance companies Lecturing and tutoring opportunities exist for solicitors to teach law in universities and colleges, full and part time Other sectors including the public utilities and the armed forces Other bodies including the Scottish Legal Aid Board, Citizens Advice Bureaux, law centres and law publishers To find out more about working in-house, visit

4 What type of person should a solicitor be? Someone who is: Responsible and trustworthy as they are often entrusted with confidential information and clients money Interested in people and able to understand their problems and difficulties, sometimes involving great stress And can: Think clearly and quickly and express themselves well in writing and speech, for instance, to answer points raised by an opposing solicitor or judge in court Deal with several matters at once as there will be deadlines to meet, telephone calls to answer and clients arriving unexpectedly Do I need additional skills? Solicitors require to have several skills in addition to technical knowledge. Business development and networking skills are extremely valuable, as are I.T. skills, knowledge of accountancy and excellent attention to detail.

5 What sort of day does a solicitor have? A solicitor can be in the office, answering the telephone, seeing clients, drafting letters and technical documents, conducting negotiations, going out to court to defend clients, inspecting properties and visiting other solicitors. To find out more about becoming a solicitor, visit

6 Other career options Many students who complete a LLB degree choose alternative careers. A law graduate, or solicitor, will develop a range of skills through their training and experience such as, communication skills, problem solving, working under pressure, managing time effectively and reaching decisions quickly and these are attractive to employers from a variety of disciplines.

7 Possible alternative employers include: Civil service working in, for instance, the Scottish Government, HM Revenue and Customs or the Registers of Scotland Police an accelerated promotion scheme is offered to some graduates Diplomatic service the diplomatic fast stream is open to graduates of all disciplines with at least a second class honours degree Employment within the European Union the European Commission sometimes advertises for law graduates to work in its directorates and also offers placements in the European Parliament and the Court of Justice Accountancy further information, such as further study requirements, is available from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland Financial services banking, building societies, insurance companies, stockbroking and related professions, though a law degree will need to be combined with a high level of numeracy and business skills Industry and commerce many companies offer graduate training schemes, with possible areas of interest including marketing, sales and management and the job of company secretary Human resources knowledge of employment law is an asset, though further study may be required Media several specialist legal publishers recruit law graduates Given the challenging economic environment, some graduates may find it difficult to get a training place and complete the qualification process. It is advisable for students studying law to keep their options open.

8 Contact The Law Society of Scotland 26 Drumsheugh Gardens Edinburgh EH3 7YR Telephone: +44 (0) Textphone: +44 (0) Fax: +44 (0) Legal post: LP1 - EDINBURGH 1 Office hours Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm Visit the website and opt in to receive New Lawyers News and updates; book events online; and find out how to get involved in upcoming projects. 2nd Edition Feb 2012 DESIGNED BY SHAW MARKETING AND DESIGN

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