Graduate careers advice: you and your law degree

Last updated: 22 Jun 2023, 13:22

A degree in law is essential for a career as a barrister or solicitor, but it can also lead to a career beyond the legal profession.

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Graduate careers advice on what you can do with your law degree.

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Work experience

A mini-pupillage, which involves work shadowing in a set of chambers, will give you experience directly related to the legal profession. Some solicitor’s firms may offer law vacation placements.

Marshalling involves shadowing a judge for a short period of a few days.

You should join your university’s law society and seek out any experience that might provide an insight into the workings of the legal profession.

More information on work experience can be found here .

What sectors?

A variety of legal practices are in operation, but most employment opportunities come from solicitor’s practices, which cover the fields of family, probate, criminal and business law. Many large organisations have an in-house legal team, while opportunities also exist within local and national government.

Most barristers are self-employed, but you can find employment with such organisations as the Legal Aid Board, the Defence Forces legal service or the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Beyond the legal profession, other employers include insurance companies, banks and building societies, and HR departments.

Your law CV

A law degree will give you an understanding of legal obligations and implications, along with the ability to apply this knowledge in practice.

Some of the skills provided by a law degree are:

  • analytical skills;
  • research;
  • communication, both written and oral;
  • evaluation and interpretation of information;
  • reasoning;
  • problem solving;
  • attention to detail.

Postgraduate study

Further study and vocational training is required if you wish to practise law. Completion of the Professional Practice Course plus a traineeship with an approved solicitor is necessary for qualification as a solicitor.

If you wish to become a barrister you must complete a Barrister-at-Law degree, followed by a one-year pupillage.

More information can be found in our Further Study section.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

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