There are many options to consider in your journey to becoming a lawyer. There are also different areas within the legal practice that you may want to specialise in. Each one requires a different set of qualification as well as different routes to follow in order to become a qualified lawyer.
The Law varies in each country; so that means if you want to practise law in another country, you are expected to study and receive further qualifications needed in that particular country before practising. It is the same thing even in the United Kingdom. For example, if you are a lawyer in England and Wales, you cannot practice in Northern Ireland and Scotland unless you complete a further qualification in that country.
The legal profession can be physically and mentally stressful as it involves dealing with different types of people, almost daily and at a professional level. It calls for a sound mindset and the will power to succeed as a lawyer. Of course, you can also earn a substantial financial and personal reward for your troubles if you do decide to pursue a career in the Law.
A lawyer is someone that is qualified to practice Law. Lawyers are different from a solicitor. You may want to think about what specialist law field you want to go in to. Just as in the medical field, you have specialised lawyers too. For example, solicitors advise individuals on the general aspects of the law and may sometimes appear in court. On the other hand, Barristers spend a lot of time in the court representing their clients and advising solicitors. Other areas of specialism include legal executive, licensed conveyancers, notaries, trade mark attorneys, costs lawyers, patent attorneys and several others. There are different routes to take to become a specialised lawyer in any area of the Law.
But it is essential to identify which area appeals to you first. If becoming a barrister is something that appeals to you, then having a law degree is a great way to start.
There are different ways to qualify as a lawyer. Here are a few ways to go about it;
1. You could earn a professional qualification such as the chartered legal executive or licensed conveyancer to become a lawyer.
2. Earn a law degree or a non-law degree, then taking a law conversion course. After that, you can take a legal practice course followed by a contract to train as a solicitor.
3. Obtain a law degree. You could also get a degree with a law conversion course. Then, you could also opt to take the barrister professional training course, followed by a pupillage which then qualifies you as a barrister.
University tuition fees play a significant role when deciding to pursue a career in the law as it is not cheap. If like most people, you cannot afford to pay the high tuition fees, then a professional qualification might be a reasonable alternative in the road to becoming a lawyer. If you intend to work while studying, then it is advisable to go for a professional qualification. However, if you want to become a barrister, you’ll need a university law degree. A professional qualification will not be accepted in this case.
A career in Law is a fulfilling job, which also has some great financial and personal benefits. Whether you are starting your career or thinking of switching career paths, you can become a lawyer. It will require hard work and dedication to study as well as doing well in your exams. But if you are focused, then it is possible to earn your qualifications and become a lawyer!
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” Pele,