Civilian legal career

Discussion in 'Jobs (Discussion)' started by Teech, Feb 25, 2007.

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  1. I haven't found any posts elsewhere on this topic, and it is something I am looking into in the medium term (+4 years or so).

    I have done some initial fact-finding in terms of pure practicalities, but wondered if there were any legal eagles out there who had experience of a legal career post-Army (barristers preferably).

    To defuse the abuse coming my way from bitter Red Caps, and even bitterer unfortunates of all ranks whose only crime was to get caught - think, I could end up defending you, or prosecuting on your behalf...

    I do not have a law degree, but would happily consider working part-time/distance to gain the GDL before I leave the Army.

    On the current timescale, I will be early 30s when this all happens.

    Answers on a post or PM please.
  2. Your first port of call should be the Law Society and/or Bar Council websites. You might also try (where bored lawyers come out to play) for general enquiries, although you'll probably get a load of abuse as well.

    I don't want to put you off, but the profession is overcrowded. Getting a training contract as a solicitor can be tough, and a lot of qualified barristers don't get tenancy and end up working in solicitors' firms, which isn't the end of the world necessarily. Best of luck, anyway.
  3. I am not a solicitor or a barrister but I studied Law and have looked at career options post-graduation.

    I assume you have a degree already as you mentioned the GDL.

    The GDL is 2 years part time or 1 year full time. After that you have to take the LPC or the BVC to become a solicitor and a barrister respectively. Both courses cost about GBP8000. The GDL probably costs from GBP 4000 - 8000 depending on whether you do part time or full time.

    For solicitor, you then have to secure a 2 year trg contract - pay ranges from GBP 14000 to GBP 40000 depending on where you go (Magic circle firms like Clifford Chance, Linklaters etc pay more. American firms like Sherman and Stearling (?) pay even more)

    For Barrister I think the pupillage is one year.

    I think the barrister route is more difficult because barristers are self-employed (although they form into chambers) so salary will depend on availability of work, unlike a solicitor who will get a salary from the firm.

    The problem, as I see it, with you trying to get into law is that competition is very hgh. TO get into a good firm or Chambers, you will almost certainly need relevent work experience (eg vacation placement at a firm) and getting work experience will probabl be difficult for you as you are working full time. Also, to even get into vacation placements, you will almost certainly have to attend interviews etc. Your degree results will be very important too - the big firms are looking at 2:1 at a minumum.

    I think i have rambled a bit but those are these that have just come up. Hope this helps.
  4. Post on the Army Aviation website. We had a JNCO leave and he is now a Barrister.
  5. Teech, check your PM's mate
  6. Teech, I am doing the part-time Bar Vocational Course at the moment. Please feel free to pm me if you want an idea of what that course entails and my perceptions so far as to a potential career at the bar (particularly as a mature entrant).

    In the meantime, jack up a couple of mini-pupillages to chambers with differing areas of practice; this will give you an idea of what life at the bar is about and may help you to make a decision either way.


  7. I know a guy who spent 4 years in Cambridge, coming out qualified to the Bar. He's set up in chambers, has just turned 26, single, drives a TVR, owns shares in 2 x light aircraft and is now learning to fly helicopters (he'll buy one when he finishes).

    Hard work no doubt but that seems like good incentive?
  8. Hello Teech

    I believe we may be mutually beneficially to each other on may be the case that I am coming into, from what you are going to, and vice versa.
    PM away.

  9. Just wondering if any ARRSErs have experience of a legal career outside London. I'm looking into becoming a solicitor, but am not motivated by the prospect of working for a magic circle firm - I've met too many guys who've fallen into a trap of high earnings, high expenditure, high stress and poor quality of life.

    I'd appreciate any opinions on the idea of aiming to become a reasonably successful provincial solicitor - you know the nice house, alice-banded wife, Volvo estate, excitable dog stereotype! :D

    Just doing a preliminary recce at the moment so apologies for the appalling naiveity...


  10. I did a law degree and qualified as a solicitor after 20 years in the Merchant Navy, slightly different as there are firms which specialise in shipping law which may have made it slightly easier for me to find a job. I would suggest you target firms which you feel your past experience will benefit, don't forget you will be competing for work against some very bright young graduates, tailor your job applications to show what you can offer that they cannot.

    Feel free to PM me if you whish to discuss
  11. Don't forget to pop in to the MO before you finish, to have your soul removed.