You’re never too old for the legal industry
Starting your career in law at a later stage in life can seem a little daunting at first: from the tuition fees, time and commitment it takes to earn your qualification to the fierce competition for a training contract, this is by no means an easy path to take. However, while there may be a few challenges along the way, the skills and experience you have gained in your professional career could help you in settling into your new job as a solicitor. After all, you’re never too old to start afresh. Increasingly, law firms are recognising the benefit that hiring mature students and career changers have in shaping a diverse and dynamic workforce. So, if you’re turning a new leaf with a career in law, here’s what you have to look forward to.
A myriad of career options
Aspiring mature entrants from other sectors are in luck when it comes to a career in the legal industry. Today, the path to success in this profession could take many forms: from lawyers and judges to solicitors, legal secretaries and consultants, the complexities of the judiciary system has created a diverse range of career options that serve a variety of functions. The path you choose will depend on your own ambitions; whether it’s solving legal disputes in the courtroom or preparing contracts for a business transaction.
The chance to use transferable skills
As an experienced professional, you will arrive in the legal sector equipped with real-world knowledge you can apply in your new career. While a law firm may be a specialist service provider, it is – at the end of the day – a commercial entity. As well as serving the public, its primary objective as a business is to grow in size and profitability. If you come from a corporate environment, you won’t be unfamiliar with some of the challenges faced by your employer. Similarly, those with experience in client-facing roles might find it easier to adjust to both relationship and budget management.
The legal profession has historically been regarded as one of the most financially lucrative and rewarding jobs in the market. In the UK, the legal sector has the fourth highest maximum earning potential when compared to other trades, with the upper echelons reaching sums of £136,000 p.a. Despite the abolition of a minimum salary, which had historically been protected by the Law Society, most legal firms pay their trainees at competitive rates in comparison to other professions. A trainee working in a major city can expect to earn around £25,000, while large firms in London can pay upwards of £40,000 (going on to potentially exceed £90,000 for those who have been in the profession for six years).
A dynamic environment
The legal institution certainly has stood the test of time. Close your eyes and imagine a famous figure from history. Henry VIII? Had a lawyer. The Grand Old Duke of York? He probably had five. Gandhi? Surprise – he was a lawyer (truth be told, he passed the bar). It’s a dynamic profession that continually changes in accordance with the governance of the nation it resides in. However, legal professionals tackle challenges head-on. They innovate, think critically, and of course, solve problems. Their jobs are ever-evolving, constantly reacting, and most importantly – engaging every single day. If this sounds like an environment you thrive in, your transition into the legal profession should be seamless.