•to be able to work methodically and accurately •to be trustworthy, reliable and respectful of confidentiality •problem-solving skills. Law-related careers
Lawyers (solicitors and barristers) Solicitorshave day-to-day contact with the public, giving advice and help on all kinds of legal matters. They represent clients in county and magistrates' courts and, with specialist training, in the higher courts. Solicitors give instructions to barristers for the cases they present in court. Solicitors need a wide knowledge of the law, but may specialise in areas like property law, company law, family law or criminal law. To qualify as a solicitor, the most direct route is to take a law degree followed by further study and training. However, other routes are available for those with a degree in a subject other than law and for non-graduates with appropriate experience and qualifications. Barristerswork in the courts defending and prosecuting cases referred to them by solicitors and other professionals. They may also represent clients at public enquiries and tribunals, and act as legal advisers and consultants. To become a barrister, you need to have a degree in law (or a degree in another subject plus a conversion course), followed by further study, training and experience. Apart from working in private practice, solicitors and barristers can work in many other areas, including in local and central government and in industry and commerce. In the Crown Prosecution Service – the part of the Civil Service responsible for prosecuting people who have been charged with criminal offences – lawyers are assisted by caseworkers, who help prepare the cases. Experienced caseworkers can train to become associate prosecutors. Judgespreside over law courts, listen to cases and make judgements on the evidence they hear. They have the most responsible job within the legal system. Judges are selected from the ranks of experienced lawyers. N.B. Magistratesare not lawyers, but community-minded volunteers who preside over magistrates' courts and make judgements. Legal executives and paralegals Legal executivesare also qualified lawyers who work alongside solicitors, carrying out specialist legal work. There are opportunities in private practice as well as in public services. With experience, legal executives take on a lot of responsibility. They may specialise in the legal side of property deals, in personal injury claims, in preparing cases for the civil or criminal law courts, or working in probate – dealing with the property of people who have died, for example. The recommended minimum entry requirement for training is four GCSEs at grades A*-C, including English, or equivalent, but many entrants hold higher-level qualifications. Applicants without formal qualifications but with suitable experience may be accepted for training. Paralegalsdeal with legal work in all sorts of settings, but are not qualified lawyers. Paralegals work in law firms, in business and commerce and in the public sector. The duties and levels of responsibility of paralegals vary greatly, from basic clerical work to legal research. Paralegals tend to start as generalists, and then specialise in a particular field of legal work. Barristers' clerks
Barristers' clerks organise the running of barristers' chambers where a group of barristers work. Senior clerks manage staff and finances, allocate cases to barristers and negotiate fees. Most start as junior clerks, undertaking routine duties such as dealing with the post, making court bookings and assisting the senior clerks. Opportunities are limited to London and other large cities. For entry, you normally need at least four GCSEs at grades A*-C or the equivalent; a good standard of numeracy and English is required. Court services' staff
There are many jobs involved with the running of magistrates' courts, as well as county and Crown courts.