Studying a Law degree abroad: A guide to a career in the legal profession

What is law?

Dealing with what society deems right or wrong, laws are in place to dictate what we can and can’t do – and the punishments that are involved to deter people from breaking these laws. Law has a great power on people’s lives and affects almost every aspect of society, from buying a house to business mergers.

If you are good at reading lots and retaining large amounts of information, working hard and communicating your point clearly, then pursuing a career in the legal profession could be right for you. You’ll be entering a highly competitive and demanding field, but with the rewards to match. Graduate with a Law degree and you’ll never fail to impress with this widely respected qualification, where you’ll be financially rewarded for your hard work.

 

Why study law in the UK?

Laws vary from country to country, and also change over time to reflect the changing attitudes of society. By studying abroad, you’ll gain a broader perspective of law, and of life in general.

When you study law in an English-speaking country such as the UK, you’ll be learning about a legal system that has served as a basis for those around the world – over a third of the world has a legal system based on English common law. So not only will you be receiving a high-quality education, but you’ll be able to apply what you’ve learnt to a number of destinations.

Additionally, compared to studying law in other countries such as the US or Canada, the UK offers one of the shortest paths to becoming a lawyer – an important consideration when you’re thinking about your future career.

 

Is law the right degree for you?

As Law degrees are both popular and intellectually challenging, it’s worth giving further thought to whether this career path is right for you. Due to the amount of reading and comprehension that Law degrees involve, they often have higher English language entry requirements. A pathway programme could be the solution for you, preparing you academically for university study, as well as improving your language to the required level for your degree.

Lawyers work in a business environment, meeting with clients, so a professional manner along with good writing and communication skills are essential. You’ll need to be able to read large amounts of text and retain important details, using previous case history to make your point. As part of your degree, you’ll develop important legal skills such as research and analysis, and argument formation.

At university there should be a chance for you to join in mooting sessions or a mooting society. These are mock debates in a courtroom setting. Your degree may also give you the opportunity to work with real life clients, providing further experience and legal skills that will help you stand out from the competition in future job applications.

 

Where can a Law degree take me?

A degree is your first step to a career in the legal profession. You may choose to become a solicitor or a barrister. Both are types of lawyer, qualified to give legal advice, but have completed different postgraduate qualifications. Once qualified, you could practice and specialise in one of many fields including criminal, commercial, international, family, civil or intellectual property law. If you are prepared to work hard, you could eventually become a judge or a partner of a law firm!  It’s not all courtrooms though, as there are plenty of other sectors you could go on to work in. A Law degree strengthens key core skills such as communication, research and analysis which employers in many fields look for – from accounting to commerce, and government to human relations.

If you need further convincing that a Law degree is right for you, read about one INTO student’s experience of launching a career in the legal profession.

Get your career in law off to the best start with one of these university preparation programmes: