Law Conversion

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As part of the 2010 series of Careers After Biological Sciences talks at the University of Leicester, paralegal Leigh Wodke gave an introduction to the different roles served by lawyers and the conversion process as a non-Law graduate
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Law Conversion

  1. 1. Solicitors and Barristers <ul><li>Solicitors </li></ul><ul><li>Give advice and assistance on matters of law. They are usually the first point of contact for members of the public, companies etc. Seeking legal advice and representation </li></ul><ul><li>Solicitors can work in private practice, for central or local government or in-house in a commercial or industrial organisation </li></ul>
  2. 2. Solicitors <ul><li>Solicitors will need, amongst others, the following skills: - </li></ul><ul><li>Organisational skills in order to deal with large workloads </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to work as part of a team </li></ul><ul><li>Good interpersonal skills for dealing with and retaining clients </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation skills when dealing with opponents. </li></ul><ul><li>Commercial awareness – in order to understand client’s needs </li></ul>
  3. 3. Barristers <ul><li>Barristers are self-employed and usually work within Chambers, but can work as employed Barristers in-house or for public organisations, such as the Government Legal Service, Crown Prosecution Service etc </li></ul><ul><li>Barristers provide advice on legal issues and are specialist advocates, representing individuals/Companies in Court. Barristers are often instructed by Solicitors to provide an opinion/advice, draft Court documents and provide representation at Court hearings </li></ul>
  4. 4. Barristers <ul><li>Barristers will need the following skills: - </li></ul><ul><li>Good advocacy skills </li></ul><ul><li>Drafting skills </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiation skills </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to work independently </li></ul>
  5. 5. Qualification Process <ul><li>Non-Law Graduates </li></ul><ul><li>Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) </li></ul><ul><li>Available full-time (1 year) or part time/distance learning (18 months – 2 years) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Practice Course (LPC) Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) </li></ul><ul><li>(1 year full-time) (1 year full-time) </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>Training Contract (2 years) Pupillage (1 year) </li></ul><ul><li>(6 months shadowing, 6 months practising) </li></ul><ul><li>   </li></ul><ul><li>Solicitor Barrister </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul>
  6. 6. Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) <ul><li>The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) is a course non-law graduates can take to enable them to undertake the LPC or BPTC </li></ul><ul><li>The course is available at various institutions full-time (1 year) or part-time/distance learning (18 months to 2 years) </li></ul><ul><li>An alternative to the GDL is a Graduate LLB, which covers additional areas of law than the GDL and is a longer 2 year course. The additional areas may assist in practice but are not essential </li></ul>
  7. 7. Structure of the GDL <ul><li>The GDL covers an introduction to the English Legal System and the 7 core subjects of an LLB: - </li></ul><ul><li>Criminal Law </li></ul><ul><li>Tort </li></ul><ul><li>Contract </li></ul><ul><li>Property Law </li></ul><ul><li>Equity and Trusts </li></ul><ul><li>Public Law </li></ul><ul><li>European Union Law </li></ul><ul><li>3 hour exam paper is usually taken within each subject </li></ul>
  8. 8. GDL Application Process <ul><li>Application for the full-time GDL is via Central Applications Board : - </li></ul><ul><li>www.lawcabs.ac.uk </li></ul><ul><li>Deadline for entry in 2010 -2011was 1 February 2010 but application may still be considered until mid-April </li></ul><ul><li>Part-time applications are usually made directly to provider and often have later deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>List of institutions offering the GDL is available on the Central Applications Board website </li></ul>
  9. 9. Course Fees and Finance <ul><li>Cost of the GDL varies from institution and mode of study e.g. full-time, part-time </li></ul><ul><li>Ranges from approx £3950 to £8730 for full-time courses </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsorships may be available from some law firms/Chambers if a training contract/pupillage offer is made </li></ul><ul><li>Education Grants Advisory Service </li></ul><ul><li>Professional Loans </li></ul><ul><li>Local Authority grants – see relevant local authority </li></ul><ul><li>Law Society Bursary Scheme/Inns of Court Scholarships </li></ul>
  10. 10. LPC and BPTC Fees <ul><li>Fees can vary from institution to institution and approximate fees are currently between £7500 to £12,500 for the LPC </li></ul><ul><li>Fee range for the BPTC range from approx £11,300 to £ 15,000 </li></ul><ul><li>(See previous slide for funding information) </li></ul>
  11. 11. Preparation/Work Experience <ul><li>Vacation Placements </li></ul><ul><li>Many firms offer funded vacation placements (particularly large firms), but application deadlines can often be up to 1 year in advance. You will need to check the individual websites of the firm(s) you are interested in </li></ul><ul><li>General Work Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Some smaller firms may provide non-funded work experience if you write in with a copy of your CV. A good time to write in is nearer the summer when support staff will be on holiday </li></ul><ul><li>Mini-pupillages </li></ul><ul><li>Barrister’s Chambers offer “mini-pupillages” which involves approx 1 week shadowing a Barrister in Chambers. Applications are made directly to Chambers. You will need to check each Chamber’s policy and application deadlines on their websites </li></ul><ul><li>Some training contract and pupillage applications need to be made 2 years in advance, so you will need to start making applications as soon as possible. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Useful Websites/Resources <ul><li>Law Careers.net – Website provides information on the Solicitor and Barrister job roles, application processes, courses and immediate vacancies available www.lawcareers.net </li></ul><ul><li>Training Contract and Pupillage Handbook www.tcph.co.uk Handbook are often available from the Careers Service, together with relevant publications. </li></ul><ul><li>Law Society Gazette – for up to date law news and jobs </li></ul><ul><li>www.lawgazette.co.uk </li></ul><ul><li>BAILII – British and Irish Legal Information Institute. Free access to database of legislation and case law www.bailii.org </li></ul>
  13. 13. Alternative Practice Options/Careers <ul><li>Crown Prosecution Service </li></ul><ul><li>HMCS – Legal Clerk </li></ul><ul><li>In-house practice </li></ul><ul><li>Local Government Lawyers </li></ul><ul><li>Government Legal Service </li></ul><ul><li>Paralegal </li></ul><ul><li>Outdoor Clerk </li></ul><ul><li>Academic </li></ul><ul><li>Patent Attorney – Charted Institute of Patent Attorneys </li></ul><ul><li>www.cipa.org.uk </li></ul>

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