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The Changing Roles of the Legal Industry

By 25th April 2016September 2nd, 2021DMA LAW TEAM

The introduction of fixed fees in many areas of law has perhaps been one of the biggest changes to the legal industry in recent times. Firms may have to restructure and Partner and senior associate heavy teams may have to reshape into Partner-led teams with support from junior associates, legal executives and paralegals. This may not sound like such good news to budding young lawyers and law students but all is not lost in these changing times with the legal profession.

The possibility of such restructuring opens up a host of career opportunities as firms adapt to follow the market, whether that be an increase or decrease in work or they grow larger or smaller in size depending on how they find they stand once the dust settles. As such we may find that there are many more possible ways to build your legal career.

The days of article clerks have long since passed and the most well-known route to a becoming a lawyer now is that of studying for a law degree, completing the LPC and then followed by obtaining a training contract. There are however, other routes to qualification and pursuing your legal career.

There is the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives route where you qualify to become a legal executive or you could begin your legal career with a paralegal qualification and work your way up. The Government and the Ministry of Justice is also currently considering introducing legal apprenticeships as an alternative route to a legal career. They would work similar to accountancy in that it would consist of on the job training and a series of exams throughout the course of the apprenticeship but would mean that people could qualify as a solicitor without a university degree.

Likewise, the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives have also just approved a diploma in law and legal skills that is to be specifically for 16-18 year olds offering young people the chance to study practical legal skills.

Whether you are a qualified lawyer, current student or thinking about pursuing a career in the legal profession do not be put off or disheartened by the current changes to the profession. Change is not always negative and can for some be for the better. If firms do have to restructure following the recent changes then that ultimately means that roles may open up for people with different skills, different experience and different legal qualifications and are out there for you to apply for, whether that be your first step on the career ladder, sideways step or even a change in employer.

The legal industry is well known for being competitive but firms are always looking to source talent and as you can see there are many different ways and means that you can build your own legal career.

Gavin Lucas