University Law Courses:
The legal profession can command the highest salary amongst careers throughout the world . This is not achieved without a considerable workload as a law student. You have to run the extra distance and burn the candle at both ends absorbing case studies, apprenticeships and writing reports to name a few Read more...
If you are looking for information on joining the legal profession in the UK, we hope you will find the information and resources supplied here of help and value.
The legal profession is a highly competitive vocation and therefore the highest qualifications and abilities are demanded from aspirant students. Idealy you will have attained the highest grades in GCSE and A-level subjects, a law degree of at least 2.1 with furthur qualifications and as much practical experience as possible. Less than 50 percent of those who have gained a law degree actually enter into the professions.
There are two distinct branches under the legal system in England and Wales, that of solicitors and barristers. Solicitors tend to work together with others in private practice and are generally the first port of call for those seeking legal advice. Solicitors are also employed in government departments and commercial businesses. The Law Society is the professional body representing solicitors.
Barristers, on the other hand, do not generally deal with the public directly, but take their instructions from a soliciitor representing the client. Barristers then represent the client at court and present their case. The Bar Council is the professional body representing barristers.
Both solicitors and barristers must complete two clear stages of training, the academic and vocational stages. The academic stage is usually accomplished by obtaining a law degree, although graduates with degrees other than law can still enter the professions by taking the Graduate Diploma in Law which will take a furthur year of study.
Once you have completed the academic stage you should consider carefully if you wish to follow a career in law, the skills you aquire in completing the degree are valued by other diverse vocations. If you have chosen to follow a legal career, then you must complete the second stage of vocational training.
For solicitors, the Law Society requires those who wish to qualify to take a Legal Practice Course. This is followed by obtaining a Training Contract from a firm of solicitors who agree to provide you with a furthur two years of training before you are finally admitted as a solicitor to the Law society.
Barristers are required to take the Bar Vocational Course, designed by the General Council of the Bar to provide students of the bar with the practical skills involved in court work. On successful completion of the Bar Exams the student can then be called to the Bar by their Inn of Court. All aspirant barristers are required to join one of the four Inns of Court, the tradition involves paying a membership fee and attending a required amount of sessions at their Inn.
Before a barrister can actually practice on their own, they must first face the hurdle of finding a set of chambers to join and complete their 12 months 'pupillage' where they work with an experienced barrister to learn the practices that constitute a barrister's work. Unfortunately these places are limited. Far more barristers qualify than are needed at court and many go on to take up different vocations associated with their skills.
This has been a short overview of the steps needed to enter and complete a legal education. Keep in mind that the legal profession recruits years in advance and so you should make early preparations for a timely path from A-levels, university through to finding a set of chambers to join. Due to the numbers studying law and hence the competition, you will need to keep up a high standard throughout the entire course of your studies.
The United Kingdom consists of three legal jurisdictions. That of England and Wales and Northern Ireland Law are based on common law principles. The other jurisdiction is Scots Law which dates back to the Middle Ages and consists of civil law principles with some common law elements.
In England and Wales the legal system is headed by The Supreme Court of England and Wales. This is made up of three elements. The Crown Court, which deals with criminal cases. The High court of Justice for civil cases, and the Court of Appeal. In English Law, the highest body of appeal is the Law Lords in the House of Lords.
Unlike the USA the UK does not have a written constitution, but is a member state of the European Union and subject to it’s laws. The Human Rights Act incorporates the European Convention on Human Rights into UK Law. Cont...