What You Can Do With a Bachelor of Laws Degree
Take those first steps to launching a career in the legal profession, and beyond!
A well-known and versatile degree for students of any background is a Bachelor of Laws. Students in these programmes can go on to become a solicitor or a barrister, depending on the type of legal work they want to do. Many others use this degree to gain skills that will help them in another field. With the ability to be applied to a variety of job types and disciplines, it is no wonder that this is a popular choice for students around the world.
What Are the Career and Study Options?
A Bachelor of Laws graduate can go on to pursue many different fields. Many enroll in a Master of Laws programme to focus on one area of study and research, or a Juris Doctorate, which falls between the Master’s and Ph.D. levels. Other students have ambitions to become a solicitor or a barrister, so it is important to know the differences between each. A solicitor is primarily a litigator and often works with advocacy cases. They also advise clients, and handle all paperwork and communication. Solicitors also perform negotiations, and calculate claims. If a case goes to court, a solicitor will often refer a barrister to the case. Barristers are generally in charge of representing the case in court.
Some graduates go on to work for government services or private practices. Many solicitors and barristers practice several different types of law during the course of their careers. Examples of this include:
- Environmental Law
- Patent and Intellectual Property Law
- Public Law
- Business Law
- International Law
- Labour Law
While most people will picture a courtroom scene, there are actually a wide variety of careers you can go into with a law degree. Some graduates pursue a career in business, politics, banking or academia. Some also work for the media, development agencies, or as public interest advocates. Other options beyond the courtroom include:
- Becoming a legal advisor
- Helping immigrants gain clearance
- Gaining a clerkship in the Houses of Parliament
- Writing for law journals or other legal publishings
- Working as an insurance loss adjuster
- Ensuring compliance in various organisations
You may also find that a Bachelor of Law degree can prepare you for a career in research or reporting, business, auditing, communication and law enforcement.
Who is a Good Fit?
Typically, Bachelor of Law students are required to complete extensive amounts of research and writing. While you do not necessarily need to love those tasks to excel in a law career, it will make your years of study more enjoyable.
Individuals who do well in this field often enjoy solving problems and enjoy discussion where they can defend their beliefs and opinions. This is a good fit for those who have great attention to detail, enjoy working independently, and are able to see the merit in both sides of a dispute. Since there are so many career options available, it is also great for students who are not exactly sure of what they want to do. Graduates with a Bachelor of Laws can pursue multiple career paths, as evidenced by Amal Clooney, who has worked in the fields of criminal defense, human rights and academia, to name a few.
What Are the Benefits?
Besides the previously mentioned fact that it is a good starting point for other careers, getting a Bachelor of Law degree has a multitude of benefits on its own. They include a few of the following:
- High salaries – While your salary will depend on a variety of factors, including where you work, in what field, and which cases you take, a Bachelor of Laws is generally associated with higher salaries than other fields.
- Growth – Almost 80 percent of barristers are self-employed, allowing them to take as many cases as they want to and be free to come and go as they please. There are also many barristers and solicitors who choose to work in private law firms. You will likely find that there is limitless potential for attorneys, with many employers offering the opportunity to eventually become a partner.
- Study options – Students applying to Bachelor of Law programmes will find that there are plenty of options to choose from. Some schools offer part-time programmes while others offer short, intensive schedules. This means the time it takes to complete the degree can vary greatly and allow you the flexibility to choose the path that best suits your needs.
- Longevity – Unlike some degrees that shift with public need, people will always require legal help in many forms, making this career one that will last.
- Job choice – A major benefit for graduates is the many different ways this degree can be used.
The wide array of jobs, specialisations and advanced degrees available to Bachelor of Law students makes it a great degree to have. If you have decided this route is for you, your next step is to research the aspects of law that appeal to you and learn what courses need to be taken to secure the job of your dreams.