Careers Information and Next Steps
Although the LLB Degree is an essentially academic qualification, its vocational relevance is clear and many of our students intend to become lawyers. Many other either intend to work in different fields or they are unsure, when they start their degrees, about whether they want to work in the legal profession or not. The School regards helping students with career choice and developing their personal “employability” as part of its function. Many members of staff have professional qualifications, some have had extensive career experience as solicitors or barristers and, in some cases, they continue to practice. Please see below for information about the routes to become qualified.
Exemptions From Professional Examinations for Law Graduates
Students who graduate from the Law School with a mark of at least 40% in all the core units automatically meet the requirements of the academic part of qualifying to become a barrister or a solicitor. These exemptions are also available to students with the Graduate Diploma in Legal Studies (GDIPL), the conversion course for students with degrees in other subjects.
However, the route to qualification is being reviewed by both the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board. The SRA review is further advanced, but the details are still not clear. What is clear is that the SRA has announced that at the point that any new regulations are introduced candidates who have started or are part way through a qualifying law degree or the graduate diploma will be able to finish those qualifications and so complete the academic stage in that way. The UEA Law School is closely involved in these reviews and will take steps to ensure that its LLB degree remains highly relevant for those intending to join either profession.
Becoming a Barrister
Students intending to become barristers must join an Inn of Court. This can be done while studying for an undergraduate law degree. After Law School intending barristers must undertake and pass the Bar Professional Training Course (one year full-time and two years part-time). Those who do this successfully must then undertake a year's pupillage, a form of apprenticeship in a set of chambers at the Bar.
Becoming a Solicitor
Law graduates who intend to qualify as solicitors proceed to the Legal Practice Course (LPC), (one-year full-time and two years part-time). This course is offered in a number of Universities around the country. After the LPC those intending to become solicitors must do two years of further training under a training contract with a firm of solicitors.
Becoming a Legal Executive or a Paralegal
An increasing number of law graduates are starting their careers as paralegals. Many will in due course train and qualify as Legal Executives authorised by the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX) and others will, after a period of work as a paralegal start a training contract to become a solicitor. The UEA law degree provides exemption from a significant proportion of the CILEX examinations.
Information About Careers in the Legal Profession
The UEA Law School, the University’s Careers Service and the Student Law Society organise a wide range events and introductions for those intending to pursue a career in the legal profession. We also have arrangements with UEA Law School graduates to mentor current students and we arrange many vacation placements of students with law firms and legal departments every year. For more details see visit our employability homepage.