Careers in law are more diverse than ever before. There are over 140,000 practising solicitors in the UK, with over 12,000 law firms dotted around the country. The legal sector is big and impressive, but the traditional way of working is taking its toll on many. Gone are the days of clocking in and out of a stuffy legal office and getting a set wage. Alternative ways of working have presented themselves to people in the industry – and they could help you improve your career prospects and job satisfaction.
If you’re interested in modernising the way you work in the legal sector and changing your professional lifestyle, this article is for you. Carry on reading and you’ll find many different career options in this field.
Work as a consultant solicitor
A consultant solicitor is effectively someone who is self-employed and works through their own limited company or a personal services company. In essence, you no longer have to work for a firm, and it’s a more flexible approach to your legal career.
One of the benefits of a consultant solicitor career path is that you can generate more clients and be more selective in your approach. You no longer have to clock in, you can work from home, and there’s no cap on how much you earn. It’s definitely something to consider if you feel restrained and restricted working under lots of people at a traditional law firm.
Become an in-house counsel
More and more lawyers are choosing to step away from traditional work and become in-house counsel instead. There are plenty of case studies of successful lawyers who have transitioned like this – and the benefits are clear for all to see.
Instead of working for a firm and handling clients for that firm, you will work directly as part of a company or organisation. As a result, you’ll handle all the legal matters for that business. Your roles and responsibilities can vary depending on who you work for, and you can give legal advice to your employers to help them understand crucial things. It’s a path you may enjoy if you’re bored of the tedium that comes when working for law firms. You get more diversity, and you could earn more money as well.
Join a law centre
Are you passionate about the law and helping others? Sometimes, you feel like you don’t fulfil your purpose when working for a law firm. You may have to defend clients that are ungrateful, and it can be very tough trying to make yourself feel like you’re contributing to the greater good.
Consequently, joining a law centre could be an alternative way for you to work. Here, you will join a non-profit legal practice that provides free legal counselling and advice to those that need it most. You’ll represent disadvantaged members of communities who can’t afford to pay for a lawyer themselves. It really gets you down to the bare bones of law, and it’s one of the things most of you became lawyers for; to help those in need.
Of course, you can always change your career by specialising in a particular area of the law. Whether this is family law, personal injury law, immigration law – the list goes on and on. Specialising opens you up to new job roles and prospects, meaning you can leave your current position behind.
In fact, it can help you pursue some of the other career ideas on this list. By specialising, it might help your career as a consultant solicitor, narrowing down your client pool so you only do the work you enjoy. Likewise, it could help you find in-house work that really appeals to you.
Work for the armed forces
Don’t worry, you won’t be shipped off overseas with military gear in your hands fighting on the frontline. No, the armed forces look for lawyers and solicitors all the time to help them deal with the many loads of legal work surrounding their organisation. This can include court-martials, operational advice, and much more.
It’s certainly a different work environment from what you’re used to, and a lot of legal professionals work for the armed forces because of the benefits you receive. You get a lot of time off work, plus a whole host of additional things that you probably won’t get at a law firm.
While there’s nothing wrong with spending your career at a firm doing traditional legal work, it can feel a bit mundane and frustrating. Sometimes, you want to free yourself and pursue alternatives. As you can see, there are plenty of careers in law and different ways of using your professional skills.