All graduates wishing to practise law must do a vocational postgraduate course. The most important initial decision facing graduates is whether to practise as a solicitor or a barrister. This demands serious consideration: find out more about the different career areas at www.targetjobs.co.uk/law.
If your degree is not law-specific you'll first have to take the Common Professional Examination. Those with a degree in law will be able to start vocational courses straight away.
Any budding solicitor will need to study for the legal practice course (LPC).
They will qualify to take this either by a) having a law-based undergraduate degree, b) having passed their common professional examination (CPE) or graduate diploma in law (GDL), or c) having studied another degree in law following their non-law undergraduate degree.
The Bar professional training Course (BPTC) is the vocational course every aspiring barrister needs to take before proceeding to a pupillage.
They will qualify for this either after a) having completed a law-based undergraduate degree, b) having passed their common professional examination (CPE) or graduate diploma in law (GDL), or c) having studied a postgraduate law degree following their non-law undergraduate degree. As of 2012, there is also an aptitude test for entry to the course.
The main options that you have when considering a law conversion course are the common professional examination (CPE) and the graduate diploma in law (GDL, sometimes referred to as GDip).
These are essentially fast-track courses, teaching wannabe solicitors and barristers who did not study a law undergraduate degree all the basics for a legal career in England and Wales. They both take one year of further study (or two if you’re studying part time).
Become a solicitor
Become a barrister
Four of the biggest firms, and members of the ‘magic circle’, hold their top employer rankings for another year.
Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance, Slaughter and May, and Linklaters come out as top employers in the legal sector in the Guardian 300 survey.
There are four main professional law bodies in the UK, as well as several regional law associations and bodies, the Bar Council and the Law Society.