Alternative legal careers
There are several types of regulated and other lawyers practising in the UK, as well as a range of other legal career roles. So if you decide qualifying and working as a solicitor or barrister is not for you, you can still continue with a career in the law and may even be able to use existing knowledge and skills e.g. your law conversion/GDL or law degree to progress along another legal career path.
Other regulated lawyers
Chartered Legal Executives and CILEX Practitioners specialise in one or more areas of the law, often working alongside solicitors, including conveyancing, criminal law, company and business law, litigation, personal injury, family law and probate.
Notaries, for example, authenticate personal and professional documents mostly for use abroad
Licensed conveyancers are qualified, professional property lawyers who specialise in the legal aspects surrounding buying and selling property in England and Wales
Immigration advisors can help with immigration and asylum claims, including helping make applications to the Home Office and help with appeals against immigration and asylum decisions
Law cost lawyers make sure clients are properly charged for work undertaken on their behalf, helping divide up costs between the prosecuting and defending advisers. They may also be instructed to argue either in support of a solicitor's bill or to oppose a bill
Trade Mark and Patent attorneys help identify which intellectual property rights are available, advise how they can be protected, and outline likely costs and time frames. They can also help with licensing arrangements and other legal transactions
Probate practitioners are qualified, professional probate lawyers, who specialise in the legal aspects surrounding inheritance and the administration of wills and estates in England and Wales
Other lawyer/legal roles
Paralegals support solicitors, barristers and legal executives and are usually employed in law firms to work in a specialised department. They are not qualified solicitors but many go on to become solicitors. See also the Institute of Paralegals
Magistrates are volunteers who hear cases in courts in their community. They can hear cases in the criminal court, the family court, or both;
Non-legally qualified Tribunal judges such as at Employment Tribunals;
Judicial assistants support members of the court, usually by doing legal research including in family, employment, commerical law in the Court of Appeal
Will writers can advise on the contents of wills, write a will on behalf of someone else, advise how to put wills into effect, where they can be stored and who the executors of the will could be. Anyone can write a will but is it important that it is legally valid
Charity and trade union advisors can advise on a range of matters to individuals who may not, or do not wish to, appoint a regulated lawyer. This can include free advice on writing a will, setting up a power of attorney or other unreserved areas of the law
Mediators are an independent person that helps two parties come to an agreement through discussion or 'mediation'
Legal cashiers look after a law firm’s finances. They process transactions and make sure the firm complies with the Solicitors Regulation Authority’s (SRA) Accounts Rules
Legal secretaries provide specialist administrative support to solicitors, barristers and the law courts. They prepare legal letters and documents such as wills
Court ushers make sure that everyone involved with a court case is present and that they know what to do
Law Commission research assistants help make the law simple, modern and fair. Candidates must have a passion for law reform.