Careers Pathways with A Law Degree

The academic year is almost halfway over, and if this is your first year of school, you may be second-guessing yourself. While some people are now confident that law is their area of expertise, others might be starting to question if they made the correct academic decision. There’s no need to freak out if your situation falls into the latter category.

It’s not too late to consider what other programs you might prefer and apply to switch if studying law has been a terrible experience for you thus far. But, you would benefit from reading this post if you enjoy studying law but find that what you have learned about being a lawyer scares or doesn’t impress you.

Once more, on February 11th, City University’s Career and Skills Development Service organized the beneficial and well-attended Careers with Law Degree event. With a title that speaks for itself, the evening featured accomplished lawyers who had taken a different career route or decided to utilize their degree for other purposes. In case you were not there at the event, here is a summary of each person and their chosen professional path:

1. Ed Hall: Crown Prosecution Service Senior Attorney:

Career Path: B.A. in English literature; interest in law piqued when joining the CPS as an administrator; GDL and BPTC completed at City Law School; returned to CPS with legal degree; began as a trainee crown prosecutor and advanced to senior crown prosecutor; 2004 saw decision to specialize; Still works in the special casework unit

An illustration of past or present work:

Football-related disturbances; the prosecution of those responsible for the 2010 student unrest; human trafficking; armed robberies; counterfeit passports

A typical workweek might include: preparing paperwork; attending court; meeting with police officers; and discussing potential legal difficulties with police inspectors.

What he finds enjoyable in his work:

  • Diversity
  • Learning about various vocations
  • Handling various forms of criminal activity

Advice to Try:

• Focus on your area of expertise; if not, “you can never learn how to deal with a case in depth”

• Look for something you are excellent at and can do well.

2. Claire Spearpoint, a Leigh Day attorney

Career path: LLB from University of Kent; two years off after graduation for travel (very advised!)

• Did paralegal work in the year before to being hired by Leigh Day, who specializes in industrial illnesses and concentrates on personal injury;

• Completed LPC at the College of Law;

• Submitted a ton of job applications and was contacted by Leigh Day, who extended an offer of employment for the following year;

Examples of past and present work include:

• Handling many asbestos cases;

• Obtaining the proper compensation for victims in personal injury cases.

A regular workweek includes client visits, witness statements, office work, evidence gathering, investigations and detective work, medical investigations, communication with colleagues in different fields, and letter and document drafting.

Her favorite aspects of her profession are:

• Talking to people;

• Working in a very depressing but gratifying field;

• Detective work; Advice: Read the Law Gazette to stay up to speed on legal news;

• Seek out as much work experience in law as you can;

• Be persistent.

3. Joanna Anaful is a Campus Relationship Manager and an AVP at Citigroup Global Markets Limited, specializing in graduate marketing, recruiting, and development.

Having completed her LLB at the University of Southampton, she took a year off after graduation to take two temp jobs before deciding to continue her Masters in Public International legal (LLM) at City University. During her studies, she realized she did not want to be a lawyer, but she still wanted to finish her legal degree.

• After receiving a few rejections, I decided to search for work in the human resources industry on the advice of a friend.

• After being turned down for human resources positions because I had the necessary expertise, I looked into HR positions in legal companies.

• Got hired by an American company upon posting her resume online

• Continued at Hogan Lovells temporarily

• Moved on to work at Barclays

• Continued her career at Citigroup, where she is still employed

An illustration of past or present work:

• Developing connections with institutions;

• Spending a lot of time traveling to talk to students and colleges

An average work week:

• Dealing with universities; • Getting over hurdles (particularly those pertaining to finances);

• Hiring new staff;

• Drafting;

• Quite predictable, with the exception of periods of political and economic hardship;

What she finds enjoyable in her work:

• Dealing with a wide range of challenges;

• Very international, dynamic, and strategic;

• Communicating with people (feels that her legal degree and mooting contributed to her communication abilities).


• Look for a setting in which you may flourish.

4. Hayyan Bhabha is the Parliamentary Assistant and Researcher for Minister of Planning Nick Boles MP.

Path of Career:

• BPTC at City University;

• LLB from Birmingham City University;

• Didn’t get hired after graduation, so he worked as a paralegal for a year and did internships;

• Was inspired to write to his local MP about what the government could do for young people in his situation;

• Was contacted and hired by Nick Boles MP;

• Has been employed at the House of Commons for 22 months.

An illustration of past or present work:

• Attends high-profile briefings and summarizes them for his employer. He also gets to meet different ministers.

Meets with the Prime Minister and interacts with political figures

An average work week:

A lot of work in the office; frequent meetings with his supervisor to review completed tasks and plan for future work; correspondence with constituents; research (speech preparation, prior to briefs)

What he finds enjoyable about his work:

• Meeting new people


• Send a note to your Member of Parliament (make an impression)

• Look for job openings on

5. Project management consultant Alexander Constantine

Career Path: BA in Law; Part-Time Work After Graduation (His ability to speak German was a major factor in getting the position); Masters in Economic Regulation and Competition at City; Interim Employment at Network Rail; June 2012 Start at Pcubed.

An illustration of past or present work:

• John Lewis Partnership;

• Statoil Fuel and Retail in Scandinavia;

• Crossrail

An average work week:

• Extended work hours; frequent travel; countless meetings; facilitating; client meetings; completing tasks and presenting

He loves that his career allows him to travel a lot, be extremely adaptable, and get paid well for his efforts.

In order to succeed in this field, you must put in a lot of overtime. Clients expect results in exchange for money. You should learn how to impress people, even with seemingly simple tasks like chairing meetings—you’d be surprised at how many people struggle with this. You should also learn how to use Microsoft Excel correctly—many people think they know how to use it, but they are clueless when faced with a new task. Personal development is crucial; make a plan for your goals and how you’ll get there.

To sum up, each of the aforementioned success stories has recurring themes that teach us valuable lessons.

After graduation, finding a job will undoubtedly be challenging and even depressing, and we will need a lot of work experience. My first thought was, “How would I get this “experience” if I can’t ever find a job?” All of these people’s responses to me advised me to take on as many internships and unpaid jobs as possible. Even though getting a free job wasn’t your first goal when you decided to go to college, it will be well worth it in the end. Put in an application for summer internships, perform pro bono work, or even search for volunteer projects in unrelated industries that might prove beneficial down the road. Why not volunteer at a hospital if medical law has always piqued your interest? Discover what transpires when you cross over. You should never give up.

Gaining work experience can facilitate your job hunt and potentially broaden your horizons by introducing you to different career paths and sectors of interest.

All of these people can teach us that having a legal degree will not harm you in any way. For many years, a degree in law has been regarded as respectable and may aid you in many aspects of your daily life as well as offer up various career options. Remember that we are still young, that we are enrolled in one of the top law schools in the nation, and that the world is our oyster. A legal degree may serve as your oyster card; all you need to do is choose which bus to board and where you want to travel.

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