Things to consider
There are many factors to consider if you are thinking of starting a career in the legal world.
The cost of training to be a lawyer can be highly expensive, especially as you will be unable to take a full time job in the first four years of training. University fees are high and you will be left with a high level of debt to pay back once you are working. There is also a postgraduate course to pay for, whatever career you choose which tends to cost around £10,000.
Have you had any previous legal experience? You should try and get as much work experience as possible. Not only will this help your applications it will give you a true understanding of the legal industry and whether you really want to dedicate your life to it. A range of experience also shows you are dedicated to a legal career and will give you something to talk about at an interview.
Type of law
There are many types of law and you can't practice in them all, if you know there is a particular area of law you are interested in you should research the types of firms that specialise in this as these will be where you will most enjoy working. If you do not know what type of law to specialise in then you should aim to get as much experience as possible to help your decision making process.
Although it is believed that all lawyers are highly paid and it is a lucrative job this is not always the case. Some lawyers practising in areas of law such as family or criminal and those in small firms which do not have rich clients may find the salaries are actually quite low, especially considering the amount of work you need to do to get qualified.
Many areas of law, especially commercial and criminal solicitors and barrister do not have 9-5 working hours, if you enjoy a challenge and working late to meet targets or get legal documents ready for your clients or court then this exciting career may be perfect for you! If you want a less stressful role with average working hours there are other legal careers to look into.
If you have decided a legal career is for you, your next consideration needs to be which one? There are many choices but the main two, solicitor and barrister both involve different routes to qualify and once you start the specialist routes it will be very difficult, time consuming and expensive to change your mind.
Where do you want to work?
Location is an important factor when it comes to law due to the changes in legal systems across the world, even the UK itself has two legal systems and causes restrictions for those from or wanting to work in Scotland if you qualified in England or Wales.
It is possible to work abroad as a lawyer but this will have to be in a country with the same legal system and even in such cases there may still be difficulties in getting started which may involve further study, expense and time off work.