Which route will you take to a legal career?

You want to start your legal career, but which route should you choose? There are several paths you could take and each has its advantages.

We are always keen to hear from dedicated and enthusiastic people who see law as their profession, and those who want to work within our support teams, from human resources and marketing to accounts, facilities and IT.

Why join HCR as a Paralegal or Trainee?

Choose your path to the future

There are three main routes into a legal career – you can do a law degree, you can become a chartered legal executive and you can convert your non-law degree. All involve extra study after you leave school, and you can earn and learn at the same time, depending on the course you choose.

Most people assume that you need a degree to become a lawyer – it’s true that many come into law with a degree but many people choose the CILEx route, which leads to a more specialised career and does not require a degree. You can also start work as an apprentice at several levels.

A law degree will take three years – if your degree is not in law, you can convert it by taking the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), which adds another year. The CILEx route will take six years in total – all could take longer if you work at the same time and study part-time. In each case, you’ll need to complete the Legal Practice Course (LPC) as well, before you can practise as a lawyer.

The links below will give you further information and advice on how to pursue your ambitions.

The Law Society – Qualifying as a Solicitor

Cilex – Studying the Law

All About Law – Best routes into Law

Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve done my A Levels and I want to be a lawyer – do I have to go to uni or can I start work at HCR?

You can earn and learn at the same time – there are several different routes to becoming a lawyer and while you will have to study further whichever route you take, we can help you both to get the experience you need and support you in your studies. We also offer apprenticeships.

You can either choose the CILEx route, which leads you into a more specialised career, or you can study for a law degree part-time. That takes longer, but is broader. A couple of people in the firm who have chosen those two routes talk about their experiences below.

I’ve got a place at uni to do law – what do you offer for law students?

Most second year students will tell you that vacation schemes are really useful, and we’re proud of ours. It gives you a real taste of the profession and some ideas about the areas you might specialise in. You can also get to know the firm a bit so that you’re well-placed to come back to us when your course is over and talk about training contracts.

How diverse is your firm? And do you invest time and effort in supporting your staff?

We are proud of our open approach to people – we want talented, hardworking individuals, whatever their background, to know that they can develop their career here. We know that life is not all about work and that our people have lives beyond the office, so we are flexible – it’s one of the reasons that people stay here until they reach partner level.

I’m not a lawyer but I know you’re a big firm – are there other jobs I could do?

Plenty – all those lawyers need great service teams behind them, from marketing and IT to HR, accounts and as wide a range of admin roles as you will find anywhere. We have eight offices, and we’re growing all the time, so there’s likely to be a role for you if you’re ready for something different every day.

We offer apprenticeships and we’re keen to support you to develop your career, with training and professional study, so do come and talk to us.

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