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All about: Careers in law

Careers in law are often exciting, well-paid, purposeful, interesting and challenging, so it's no wonder that they are so popular. On the flip-side, careers in law are notoriously difficult to get into. It costs a lot of money to get trained to the right level, and it is a genuine case of only the fittest survive. This article looks at some of the jobs that are available within law.

Barristers

Barristers are often seen as the top of the legal tree. They carry an awful lot of responsibility, but get paid accordingly with the top earning barrister jobs bringing in millions a year. Respect and financial stability
To be a lawyer at the level of a barrister is a position, which brings not only financial stability, but also a position of respect within the profession and within society. Barristers go to court on behalf of clients or present evidence at tribunals. Qualifications required Careers usually start with the BPTC training course and then, a pupillage at a law firm. The best grades at university are bare minimum requirements.

Solicitors

Solicitors tend to have more interaction with the clients. They prepare cases for barristers, and work with barristers to get the client's case heard in a court room. Solicitors tend to work for firms, and are not self-employed like barristers are. Salaries
Solicitors in top firms can be paid around £50,000 a year (as of 01.07.11), but most high street firms rarely exceed the £25-30k mark. Place of work Solicitors often work in high street branches of firms and deal with property, business advice, family advice and other non-critical law information (unlike barristers who may be working through the night to save someone's life the next day with extradition orders etc.).

Legal advisers

Legal advisers can work for the government, for government agencies, businesses, charities and anyone else, who is directly involved with the law and requires information. Job roles and salaries Legal advisers vary in their job roles and in their salaries, so it is worth investigating each organisation individually to find out what sort of career options are available for you.

Para-legals

Para-legal jobs often involve work akin to a legal assistant. They will generally assist qualified lawyers in the preparation of cases (although, a para-legal must not ever purport to give advice to a client), in time-tabling and scheduling exercises, in drafting letters and in other non-advice related tasks. Booking of para-legals Para-legals are often booked deliberately to do some tasks, so as to stop partners from charging partner fees for something that could easily be done by a para-legal.

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