With the world of litigation getting every more complex, and busy, there are many more careers out there to be considered by anyone taking up ‘law’ when they leave school. In fact, the word law does seem a particulary small word to cover a massive industry. Most people think of solicitors and court room scenes from powerful programmes on the tv. Thinking back to Rumpole Of The Bailey – this character is played supberly be an australian actor called Leo McKern, a cummudgenly old barrister from a very good chambers, and who’s wife is the daughter of a very very emminent law Judge from a generation before. They covered many different story lines in the one hour a week series that lasted many years. Each case was neatly portrayed, acted out, fought across the lines by Counsel for the Prosecution making their attack and old Rumpole – always Counsel for the Defence. I wonder how many law degrees were started off by hopes of being the next Rumpole?!
One of my cohort of pals from school has recently taken up a new career – having studied law at uni, she then didn’t get herself a training contract and so couldn’t go to practice, as she had always planned all the way through school. She did various other things which were very interesting it is true, but not as rewarding in her mind as she thought being a barrister would have been.
After a few years of juggling family and part time work for the council legal department as an adviser and administrator, she decided to become a legal executive. This has been the making of her – my word we have seen such a change in her confidence and general satisfaction with her life and herself. No longer is she always apologetic about not being able to do this or that, she has now achieved something amazing, when it was less easy to do. Congrats to that lady!
This the calmest time of year for all school students and their parents. Worrying about choices and grades, for just a few short weeks is over, apart from the lead up to results day. The busy people in the summer holidays are the school, college and university admin staff – they will now be busy dealing with the results of the endeavours of the students who sat the exams. The clearing houses gear themselves up ready to assist the millions of youngsters who find they’ve not done as well with their necessary grades, need alternative universities for that course, or alternative courses for the grades they got.
To get a specific career orientated course takes a great deal of dedication throughout upper school. To be a doctor, there are particular subjects that are mandatory and at A level, will have minimum grade requirement. Knowledge is King!
Ah the joys of taking a work experience student to show them how we do the job . . . . my friend’s daughter runs a very busy web based company and thought it would be good to offer a two week IT placement via the local upper schools. Expecting there to loads of legalities to overcome, she was amazed when it turned out to be very simple and straight forward. The student thus presented himself for a preview the week before and it was settled.
The lad turned out to be an absolute genius – preparing to sit A levels including computer sciences next school year, he came fully tuned in to everyday computing and web based work. He was so hands on and happy to use his school learning on the job in hand. It was a joy to the employers to see someone pleased to demonstrate ‘what exactly young folk do do at school all day’ !
There are many different career choices available to youngster going through education today. Most of these thoughts are likely to be formed whilst watching more tv than when my generation was going through the same process. We had fewer programmes to start with. Nowadays children are able to view anything at any time unless their parents put controls in place early on. A lot of the evening programmes are suitable for family viewing and this is where execellently produced police and family dramas give a vague idea of life at that sharp end. They also involve court room scenes and this too provides inspiration to some.
Getting advice on the right school exam and higher education choices is critical for anyone fancying a career in law. Without those building bricks at the start, there could be a whole wall of disappointment to come later on.
One of the things that has come to my notice since I have had more time to spend at home, is how much crime and detection tv there is out there. All day on the catch up channels there are endless programmes either about fictional detectives or real action police filmed on patrol throughout our motorway and country wide networks. There are also some interesting dras that include the end result of all this activity, the legal side. When the rozzers have brought the bad guys to book and it goes on from the friendly police station action pics.
The legal profession still commands tremendous respect througout the country – the UK legal system is renowned throughout the world as being very fair and honest. It is still a fantastic career to take up and it is worth seeking the best possible routes into a chosen stream. Getting advice up front will never be time wasted.
One or two of my past PA roles in legal work have taken me into the realms of tribunals and before that, with completion work on land conveyance and preparing the files for putting away. In each area of business that I had connections with, I was always struck by how nice and caring the judicial members were. One of my areas of responsibility required me to deal with complaints – only ever from the side that lost a battle, no one who wins a case ever finds fault with the judiciary. The usual cry was that the judge was biased or just unfair. This was always a challenge, having to contact various parties who had also attended the same hearing, from whichever side of the argument.
Without exception the care and time that each member spent on providing fair and unbiased versions of the tale always impressed me. The legal profession has always been a good career path – and definitely still is!
There are so many different routes that young folk can follow to get a career they really want to follow for their lifetime out in the work place. Amazingly there are few professions where the youngster starts off at school knowing exactly what they want to do and how to achieve it. Medicine is one of those, as is Law. There are ways to ensure entry acceptance into law school is achieved more smoothly of course. Ensuring the right school is attended could be one, but this isn’t always an option! Next best is to look into which law school is the fancied one and to bone up on exactly which exam and the grades will be needed.
Another route, if the choice of law is decided after exams, degrees and all that are over, can be via online agencies dedicated to the business of recruiting for law vacancies. They have masses of experience and their advice is invaluable.
When thinking about careers for the long term, the schools have some very good schemes in place. During the 1990s the students went on ‘work experience’ with various local firms who had signed up to the government scheme to provide one or two weeks real work alongside their teams of staff. This was obligatory in state schools and was to give an idea of what the job would be like if a student chose banking, retail, farming etc. One youngster very close to me wanted to be a military musician, after a very inspiring promotional tour by a group from a branch of the Household Cavalry. That placement involved her being chaperoned by two lady band members from the Irish Guards as the HC had no womens’ quarters! However the work itself was fantastic.
The same experience can be had with legal teams, with students sitting in on court cases and helping with the mountain of legal documentation en route.
Years ago when involved with cases to industrial tribunals and resolutions, one of the most common queries from callers was to ask who would be their nominated legal representative. Having informed the caller that no legal cover was actually provided, a lengthy silence was followed by wailing and then demands to know how they were to present their claim without help. etc etc. The response back was to ask if they have comprehensive household insurance and to check if they had any form of legal cover included. If so, they were to put their case to the legal department forthwith for them to handle.
It is critical these days to ensure legal cover is available on all our insurance policies. It is the only feasible way to ensure top notch legal assistance is there when we need it. Entering a claim after receiving considered opinions from the know-it-all ‘pub lawyers’ has had it’s day!