- 28 Dec, 2020
- By Jennifer Frimpong
Law is an incredibly transferable academic discipline that affords recipients of law degrees the opportunity to work in a vast array of industries and sectors.
Traditionally, law graduates enter private practice as solicitors or advocacy via the barrister route. Today, the roles law graduates can enter are incredibly varied, from in-house legal counsel within large organisations, to the dynamic world of technology to financial services from banking to insurance, professional services, public/government institutions to name but a few.
So, I will share my personal journey.
I studied Law at the University of Southampton and graduated in 2016. Having done a variety of internships and attended various programmes and open days, I knew I wanted my career to have a legal element, but I wanted to aid and support a business directly.
After doing an internship at Accenture prior to graduating, I was exposed to the world of contract management after working with the Legal & Commercial Services team. Contract management is essentially the process of managing agreements, from their creation/initiation through to execution by both parties, day-to-day management of the contract and the eventual renewals or termination of contract.
How does my law degree help me in my day-to-day?
As a contract manager, my role is heavy on the contracts (as the name suggests!) so studying contract law and advanced commercial contracts and disputes whilst at university gave me the theoretical understanding of how contracts work, terms and the respective laws that govern different types of contractual relationships. Aside from the theoretical knowledge, studying law definitely gave me the ability to really hone in on my analytical skills, attention to detail, negotiation skills and problem solving. It goes without saying, the skills acquired whilst studying law whether it be for your undergraduate or postgraduate, are incredibly valuable for any young professional and transferable to every and any industry. I have since worked in the manufacturing industry, consumer goods industry as well as currently, financial services – all of which have been rewarding.
Currently with BD Legal Services, as a Legal Consultant, I am able to draw upon my experiences from university and mu various internships, as well as my day job and additional qualifications I have undertaken, to cater to the specific needs of our clients and support them as they grow in their business journey.
As we approach the end of the year, halfway through the academic year for present students, do take time out to write down your career goals and explore other opportunities. If I had 3 key tips for current students, recent graduates and young professionals, I would say;
• Do your research! Explore your options – do you want to go into private practice?
Do you want to work in another industry? What experience can you obtain to aid the transition into the world of work post-graduation?
• Commercial Awareness: Stay on top of current affairs and the developments within your industry of interest.
• Network: Social media affords you the opportunity to have a wealth of esteemed professionals at your fingertips. Utilise LinkedIn as well as other social media platforms to network and find out what other roles outside of solicitors and barristers look like.
Law is an incredibly challenging and intellectually stimulating academic discipline that can set you up for success. There are many rewarding careers outside of the traditional law paths that may be worth exploring. Tax consulting, compliance, insurance/underwriting, politics, the civil service, conveyancing are just SOME examples of careers that require where a legal background is not only advantageous but desirable.
If you want to reach out and talk all things law careers, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org