Law vs Non-Law Degree

A-Level results have just been released and all students who have just finished at College or Sixth Form will now be embarking on the next phase of their lives; whether that be University, working, travelling or taking time out to figure out what they would actually like to do in the future. Some may already know that they would like to have a career in Law and some have probably not even considered it.

It does not necessarily matter if you have decided to study Law at University or not and I think it’s a good idea to briefly explore each of these options.


1. Study a Law Degree

Undergraduate Law degrees are 3 years (or 4 with a placement year) and many graduates will go on to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC), once they’ve finished. The LPC takes one year to complete, if studied full-time, but there are many different ways of studying it. For example, you can study it part-time, evenings only or weekends only.

Of course, in the meantime you should be looking for a Training Contract and should, preferably, start looking in your second year as many Companies recruit two years in advance.

Writing it here makes it sound very simple, but completing your undergraduate degree will require a lot of hard work and sacrifices (sorry, but some Fridays you won’t be able to go to the University club with your friends!).

I think this is the most direct way to start your legal career and eventually qualify as a Solicitor. It can be pretty costly, but is more cost and time effective than studying a non-law degree.

2. Study a Non-Law Degree

Studying Law at University is not the only way one can start on their path to become a Solicitor. People who have studied a non-law undergraduate degree can decide they would like to change direction. If this is the case for you, you will need to complete the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), which is a conversion course and usually takes one year to complete.

If you have studied a non-law degree and decide you would like to pursue a career in law, don’t worry, you can still do it. In fact, when I studied the LPC, I found that a lot of people I met had completed the GDL and many of those had  History degrees.

Many employers now actively look for candidates who have completed a non-law degree as they will have gained a different set of skills and are actually showing a commitment to Law by deciding to start on a whole different path from the one they originally started on.

As I said above, this is not the most cost or time effective route, but it is reassuring to know that studying a non-law degree is not the end of any hope of starting a legal career. It is also quite nice to know that you do not have to study for another 3/4 years to complete your law degree on top of the one you already have!


So,whether you study Law at University or not, there are plenty of options available to you. If you do decide to study Law, you do not necessarily have to pursue a legal career, just as you are not barred from a legal career by studying a non-law degree.

I have kept this quite brief, and there are many different options and legal career paths to explore, but I hope this has helped clear it up for some of you. If you have any further questions, please get in contact by leaving a comment below, or by getting in touch on my contact page!


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