You do not necessarily have to take the conventional route of studying Law at University in order to become a lawyer: there are various routes into law. Nowadays, there are lots of non-law graduates in the legal profession. There are even school leaver schemes and apprenticeships available. It is also common to go to University to study something else, like History, and then complete a conversion course after your undergraduate degree.

Whether you study History to GCSE, A-level or University level, History and Law are both about questioning motivation and looking beneath the surface, which makes them intrinsically linked. History teaches you skills which are important to have as a lawyer: critical thinking, asking why, analysing information and presenting arguments as well as training memory and teaching you how to research. Barristers need to have an excellent memory for precedents, i.e. legal cases in the past where judgement may be considered to have set a precedent which could still apply to a similar case today. Studying History before going in to Law may even give you an advantage of having had more life and academic experience. For information on legal careers, visit the Law Society website. 

Work Experience and Voluntary Work

This is likely to be limited by issues of confidentiality, but you may find that some solicitors and other law firms offer work experience. Again, seek the help of your careers advisor in checking this out. Courts also have public viewing areas so you can ‘sit in' on a trial and see the roles taken by prosecutors, defenders and court officials.


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