Finding a job
Finding a job as a trainee solicitor
You will need to apply for a training contract which will comprise two years qualifying work experience in a company. If you secure a training contract before you undertake your professional training (LPC/SQE), the employer may pay for it. Many training contracts are typically offered 18 months in advance. The earliest you can apply is in the summer of your second year if you are a law graduate.
Look for training contracts at:
Finding a job as a trainee barrister
Explore Pupillages at the Lawyer Portal. Information will be available at the Pupillage Gateway, and most applications will be through this route. Applications can be made through the Pupillage Gateway, but can also be made direct to chambers. Chambers typically advertise 18 months in advance.
After completing all training components you'll be ready to apply for tenancy as a self-employed barrister in chambers or go into practice as an employed barrister.
Finding a job as a paralegal or CILEx lawyer
Trainee CILEX job opportunities may be called trainee legal executive, or, more commonly trainees will start in the role of paralegal. Paralegal job opportunities are advertised widely through general websites such as Indeed and LinkedIn. Legal recruitment agencies, such as Flex Legal, will also advertise opportunities. For those with less experience, starting as a legal assistant may be easier. Good administrative skills will be helpful for these roles.
Becoming a Chartered Secretary
Company secretaries have a broad skill set – corporate law, finance, governance, strategy and corporate secretarial practice – and they advise a company's board in these key areas, providing support to the Chair, CEO and non-executive directors. The Chartered Governance Institute provides useful information on routes into a career in corporate governance, and their professional qualifications. The University of Portsmouth offers the accredited LLM Corporate Governance and Law.
Alternative careers in law
For alternative careers in the sector, for example as a paralegal, legal secretary, working in HM Court Service, or as a licensed conveyancer, the following websites may also be helpful:
- Institute of Legal Secretaries – the jobs board exclusively for legal secretaries.
- Legal Week – a legal recruitment website offering a wide range of legal jobs including: graduate/trainee opportunities, paralegal, legal secretarial and support jobs, from legal recruitment consultants, companies and law firms.
Where to start your job search
Are you looking for a role in Hampshire? Our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy can help!
If you're in the final year of your degree, you can register for support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy. They work with over 3,000 employers in the local area to place our students into fantastic graduate careers.
Speculative applications involve sending a CV and cover letter to an employer to ask if they have any vacancies, even if the company is not currently advertising for a role. They're a great way to access "hidden jobs" that go unadvertised.
Submitting a speculative application shows your interest in a specific company and your willingness to go above and beyond to develop your skills and understanding of the industry.
Our tips for securing a job in law
- The legal world is part of the business world so keep up with the business sections on newspapers' websites to improve your commercial awareness and read more specific legal press.
- Do your research: particularly around firms/chambers that interest you.
- Know your deadlines for applications and how you should apply - don't leave applying to the last minute.
- Spend time on completing any application – refine, check and check again, competition is fierce so avoid giving recruiters the chance to eliminate you simply for spelling or grammatical errors.