The occupations below are a selection of those which may interest students and graduates from the School of Law.
Solicitors take instructions from clients (who may be individuals, groups, public sector organisations or private companies) and provide expert legal support on a range of personal and commercial issues.
- AllAboutLaw: Becoming a solicitor - Securing a training contract
- Prospects job profile: Solicitor
- The Lawyer portal: What is a solicitor? What does a solicitor do?
- Kent Law School: Becoming a solicitor
Barristers are specialists in advocacy, presenting clients' cases in Court. Generally, they are hired by solicitors to represent a case in court and only become involved once advocacy before a court is needed.
Most barristers work in sets of chambers on a self-employed basis. Others are employed in public sector bodies such as the Crown Prosecution Service and the Government Legal Service, and in the in-house legal departments of companies
- Prospects job profile: Barrister
- Bar Council: Becoming a barrister
- Law Careers: Barrister career path
- Kent Law School: Becoming a Barrister
Chartered Legal Executive
The work of Chartered Legal Executives is similar to that of solicitors. They are qualified lawyers who usually specialise in one area of law, some of the most common being property, family, employment, personal injury, civil and criminal litigation, wills and probate, and public law (such as welfare benefits or immigration).
- Prospects job profile: Chartered Legal Executive
- The Lawyer Portal: Chartered Legal Executive
- Chartered Institute of Legal Executives: What CILEx lawyers do
Paralegals are law professionals working in a supporting role, to solicitors and barristers. Tasks will often mirror the work of a trainee - or at times even a recently qualified solicitor. The position is sometimes used as preparation for qualifying as a solicitor.
- Prospects job profile: Paralegal
- Institute of Paralegals: Become a paralegal
- The Lawyer Portal: What is a paralegal?
For further information on these careers, see also:
Thank you to Prospects for the content on these pages.
A Law degree may be useful in the following career areas because the skills it develops are likely to be important to do these jobs. In some cases, your legal knowledge may also be valuable to employers.
Chartered accountants are never limited to one discipline. You can take your career into a diverse range of specialist areas including auditing, forensic accounting and business recovery.
Prospects job profile: Chartered Accountant
Inside Careers: Chartered Accountancy
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Civil Service Fast Stream Administrator
The Civil Service Fast Stream is a leadership development programme for those wanting to become senior leaders within the Civil Service.
Prospects job profile: Civil Service Fast Streamer
Read about the 15 different Fast Stream schemes
Human Resources Manager
Human resources officers develop, advise on and implement policies relating to the effective use of staff in an organisation. Responsibilities include hiring, developing and looking after employees. This involves functions such as training and monitoring performance.
Prospects job profile: Human resources officer
Chartered Institute for Personal Development: HR generalist roles
Human Rights Officer
Works for inter-governmental or non-governmental organisations ranging from the United Nations and Amnesty to small charities and campaigning bodies. The work may involve monitoring and reporting on human rights issues with a view to bringing them to the attention of decision makers, the media and the wider public in order to end human rights violations and provide justice to their victims. Human rights work is wide-ranging: for further information see.
Investment banking relates primarily to helping large organisations access the capital markets to raise money for expansion or other needs. Two main areas of interest in investment banking for graduates are typically Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) and Proprietary Trading.
Prospects job profile: Investment banker
Inside Careers: Banking and Investments
Underwriters analyse risks and make decisions on whether or not to accept applications for insurance cover, and on what terms, with the aim of minimising the risk to their company and helping it to make a profit.
Prospects job profile: Insurance underwriter
The Chartered Insurance Institute: Discover Risk
Library and information staff manage, organise, evaluate and disseminate information. In specialist libraries and information units, such as those in law firms and the Inns of Court or universities, law graduates may be able to use their subject knowledge directly.
Prospects job profile: Academic librarian
Prospects job profile: JPublic librarian
Job profile of a public librarian from the TARGET Jobs website
Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals: Career support toolkit
In essence, a consultant’s job is to advise an organisation on improvements that can be made. Consultancy usually involves identification and assessment of a problem or analysis of a specific area, reporting findings and formulating recommendations.
Prospects job profile: Management consultant
Inside Careers: Management consultancy
A tax adviser works with companies and individuals, trying to create the best tax strategies for them. The main areas of specialisation are corporate, personal, international, inheritance tax, VAT, National Insurance, and trusts and estates.
Prospects job profile: Tax adviser
The Association of Taxation Technicians
Chartered Institute of Taxation
Trade Mark Attorney
Trade mark attorneys advise clients about protecting and enforcing their trade mark rights and other intellectual property issues, such as copyright, registered designs and licensing.
Prospects job profile:Trade mark attorney
Institute of Trade Mark AttorneysHow to become a Chartered Trade Mark Attorney
Career in ideas:Trade Mark Attorney
For other career options relevant to law graduates Alternative Careers for Law Graduates
You may be interested in graduate roles outside of Law. There are many employers who are looking for graduates with good degrees but that don’t have a preference for the subject studied. To explore different career options see:
The "Magic Circle"
These are the five most “prestigious” London-headquartered multinational law firms with the largest revenues
The "Silver Circle"
Prestigious and highly rewarding London-based, corporate law firms who have significantly higher profits per equity partner figures than the UK average
Types of law firms
- Chambers Student: American and transatlantic law firms in the UK – list of US firms that have opened up an office London and grown it from scratch and US firms that have entered the UK market via a merger with an established British firm.
- Chambers student: National law firms - firms that have a strong UK-wide market recognition and a presence in several major UK cities.
- Chambers student: Regional law firms – commercial firms that vary in size with a city headquarters and offices across one region of the UK.
- Chambers student: High street law firms - come in all shapes and sizes and can range from long-established bands of several dozen lawyers in a town centre to sole practitioners setting up shop in the suburbs.
American firms in London
- Baker & McKenzie
- Jones Day
- Kirkland & Ellis
- Shearman & Sterling
- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
- Weil, Gotshal & Manges
Other city and commercial firms
Many of these are international and offer excellent career prospects.
- Charles Russell Speechlys
- DLA Piper
- Hogan Lovells
- Irwin Mitchell
- Osborne Clarke
- Reed Smith
- Simmons & Simmons
- Taylor Wessing
- Watson Farley & Williams
Medium-sized and niche (specialist) firms in London
- Farrer & Co
- Fox Williams
- Hempsons Specialist healthcare firm
- Hodge Jones & Allen “Champions the rights of the individual” in areas including human rights, civil liberties and miscarriages of justice
- Mishcon de Reya
- Volterra Fietta “The world's only public international law firm and London's only international arbitration firm”.
- Withers LLP “international law firm dedicated to advising successful people, their families and their businesses”
Regional firms in South-East and Eastern England
- Cripps Tunbridge Wells, Kings Hill, Sandwich and London.
- DMH Stallard Brighton, Gatwick, Farnham and London
- Furley Page Canterbury, Chatham, Whitstable and London
- Girlings Canterbury, Ashford, Herne Bay and Margate
- Palmers Three offices in Essex
- Stevens & Bolton Guildford.
- Thomson Snell & Passmore Tunbridge Wells and Dartford
- Whitehead Monckton Canterbury, Maidstone and Tenterden
Chambers in Kent
- Becket Chambers Canterbury, Dartford, Maidstone, Tunbridge Wells
- Maidstone Chambers litigation and criminal law
- Stour Chambers civil, family and criminal set based in Canterbury
Chambers in London
- 2 Bedford Row
- 7 Bedford Row
- 25 Bedford Row
- Blackstone Chambers
- 4 Breams Buildings
- Four Brick Court
- Charter Chambers leading criminal law set
- Coram Chambers
- One Crown Office Row
- Devereux Chambers
- Doughty Street Chambers
- Ely Place
- Enterprise Chambers
- 39 Essex Street
- Field Court Chambers
- Garden Court Chambers
- 9 Gough Square
- 1 Grays Inn Square
- Harcourt Chambers
- Hardwicke Building
- 3 Hare Court
- 4 King’s Bench Walk
- Lamb Chambers
- Littleton Chambers
- Matrix Chambers
- 15 New Bridge Street
- New Court Chambers
- 4 New Square
- 12 Old Square
- Outer Temple Chambers
- 3 Paper Buildings
- 4 Paper Buildings
- Pump Court Chambers
- 6 Pump Court
- Quadrant Chambers
- QEB Hollis Whiteman
- Renaissance Chambers
- 18 Red Lion Court
- Serle Court
- 5 St Andrew’s Hill
- 9 Stone Buildings
- Temple Gardens Chambers
- Wilberforce Chambers
Chambers in other locations
- College Chambers Southampton
- Deans Court Chambers Manchester
- Exchange Chambers Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester
- Guildford Chambers
- Guildhall Chambers Bristol and London
- Iscoed Chambers Swansea
- No 18 Chambers Southampton
- Number 5 Chambers Birmingham, Bristol, East Midlands and London
- St Philips Chambers Birmingham, Leeds and London
- Westgate Chambers Lewes and London
The above lists are only a selection of firms and chambers in these categories: the resources linked under “Find a Job” provide more comprehensive and searchable listings. Inclusion in this list does not imply any recommendation of these particular firms by the Careers and Employability Service.
Important abilities and qualities of mind are acquired through the study of law that are readily transferable to many occupations and careers. Some of these qualities and abilities are generic, in that they are imparted by most degree courses in the humanities and social sciences. But degree-level study in law also instils ways of thinking that are intrinsic to the subject, while being no less transferable.
These include an appreciation of the complexity of legal concepts, ethics, rules and principles, a respect for context and evidence, and a greater awareness of the importance of the principles of justice and the rule of law to the foundations of society.
The following list of skills and qualities of mind is designed to be comprehensive but is not intended to be exhaustive or definitive. The order is not indicative of priority.
A graduate of law with honours has demonstrated:
- Intellectual independence, including the ability to ask and answer cogent questions about law and legal systems, identify gaps in their own knowledge and acquire new knowledge, and engage in critical analysis and evaluation
- Self-management, including an ability to reflect on their own learning, make effective use of feedback, a willingness to acknowledge and correct errors and an ability to work collaboratively
- Awareness of principles and values of law and justice, and of ethics
- Knowledge and understanding of theories, concepts, values, principles and rules of public and private laws within an institutional, social, national and global context
- Study in depth and context of substantive areas of law
- Ability to conduct self-directed research, including accurate identification of issue(s) which require researching, retrieval and evaluation of accurate, current and relevant information from a range of appropriate sources, including primary legal sources
- Ability to work with a range of data, including textual, numerical and statistical viii ability to recognise ambiguity and deal with uncertainty in law
- Ability to produce a synthesis of relevant doctrinal and policy issues, presentation of a reasoned choice between alternative solutions and critical judgement of the merits of particular arguments
- Ability to apply knowledge and understanding to offer evidenced conclusions, addressing complex actual or hypothetical problems
Find a job
The Careers and Employability Service provides information and advice on job searching to University of Kent students and recent graduates. This includes a vacancy database advertising a range of graduate jobs, sandwich placements and vacation work/internships and online resources.
- Law Careers Net general advice on legal careers, training and employers, with searchable databases of solicitors’ firms offering training contracts (including vacation placements) and barristers’ chambers providing pupillages and mini- pupillages
- Target Jobs legal careers, training contracts, pupillages and expert advice
- Chambers & Partners Student Guide Information on solicitors’ firms, barristers’ chambers (mainly commercial) and practice areas. The "True Picture" section provides an insider's view on what it is really like to work for the top 100 law firms, compiled from confidential interviews with trainees.
- All About Law Law jobs, courses and advice
- Pupillage Gateway Centralised online pupillage application system
- Irwin Mitchell - podcasts
Further academic study
A postgraduate degree in Law will allow you to specialise in an area of interest to you, such as International Law, Human Rights or Environmental Law. Although, in many cases, this specialisation will be relevant to a future career in the legal profession, law firms do not always regard a postgraduate degree as giving any significant advantage over an LLB and, even with a Master’s or PhD, you will still need to undertake the Legal Practice Curse, Solicitors Qualifying Exam or Bar Professional Training Course.
- LLM Guide Master of Law programmes worldwide
If you are planning a career as a lawyer, you will need to gain a professional qualification: The Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) /Legal Practice Course for solicitors, the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) for barristers or the CILEx Graduate Fast-Track Diploma. The SQE is a new system of exams introduced in 2021 that all prospective solicitors will have to pass to qualify. From 2021, it will no longer be required to complete a law degree or law conversion and the Legal Practice Course (LPC).
These courses can be taken full or part-time and are offered by a number of providers around the country. Some employer sponsorships or scholarships are available. For further details of these courses, course providers and the application procedure, see:
Legal Practice Course
Solicitors Qualifying Exam
Bar Professional Training Course
Chartered Institute of Legal Executive
Other careers, some, such as or law, will require further study for a relevant professional qualification. In some careers, such as journalism, a postgraduate degree is not a requirement, but may be an advantage, while there are many careers that will put more emphasis on personal skills than on academic qualifications.
The job profiles section of the Prospects website will tell you whether postgraduate study is essential, useful or not needed for a specific career.
There are many reasons for choosing to continue into postgraduate study. Whatever your motivation, you need to consider issues such as your suitability, funding options for postgraduate study and to enable a fully informed decision to be made.