LCAN, the Law Careers Advice Network, primar aims was to promote and enhance understanding in the student population in schools, further and higher education institutions about the opportunities available to those who wish to pursue a career in law.

Alternative careers

Law related employment


All of the opportunities outlined below will also be open to undergraduates of any discipline although employers are likely to be interested in your legal knowledge and background. Many of these careers offer the opportunity to use law but also require you to learn new skills and perhaps undertake professional training and qualifications. The careers have been grouped together according to the key skills they have in common.



Administrators undertake a wide range of activities concerned with the planning, co-ordination and running of the internal administration of an organisation. Their role requires a methodical, efficient approach and good written and communication skills. Although there is some administrative work in private industry, the majority of posts are found in the public sector. Administrative posts are available in the Civil Service (see Civil Service Careers), Local Government, Health Service (see Health Service Careers), voluntary organisations and further and higher educational Institutions.


If your interests are in policy making and implementation, you could consider Civil Service opportunities in departments with legal responsibilities, for example, the Home Office, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), European Fast Stream, Department for Constitutional Affairs and Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO). There are also normally a small number of vacancies for clerks in the two Houses of Parliament.


The Civil Service also recruit graduates in specialist roles. In addition to training as a lawyer with the Government Legal Service, there are a number of posts, which have a strong legal content or framework. For example, the Inland Revenue recruit tax inspectors which provides the opportunity to apply and interpret the law in a financial context. The customs and excise office and immigration service would also value applications with a legal background.


One area of administration common in the commercial sector is that of company secretary. This role involves convening meetings, preparing agendas, drafting reports and recording minutes of meetings. Company secretaries develop and manage systems, which ensure that the company complies with legal and statutory requirements. They need to be knowledgeable about company law and legislation affecting organisations. Company secretaries are normally qualified in law or accountancy but some companies recruit graduates who train and study to become members of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators (ICSA).

Find out more about jobs in administration.

Analysis and research

Analysis and research are important elements in many careers where collecting, assessing, organising and evaluating information are essential skills. Careers include legal publishing, information management and librarianship.


A few publishers specialise in legal publications and offer occasional openings for graduates in editorial, production, marketing and sales roles. Some of the vacancies would require a professional legal qualification and experience.

There are occasional opportunities for law graduates with a qualification in librarianship to work in the law libraries of large solicitors firms, in academic libraries or specialist libraries and information centres. Legal computer databases can offer openings for law graduates interested in qualifying in information science. Both librarians and information scientists are concerned with managing information. The distinction between the roles is increasingly blurred but postgraduate courses are available in both.

Find out more about jobs in publishing, media and performing arts and information services.

Community advisory work

Law graduates interested in working with the public in the ‘caring’ professions may want to research careers which focus on the needs of the public and assess ways in which these can be met. If you are interested in the ‘welfare’ side of law you could consider social and probation work, welfare advice and housing management. At a professional level these careers require relevant experience and further training and qualifications. Considerable voluntary work experience is usually a pre-requisite for entry.


Those interested more in law enforcement may decide to apply for the police service. You could also consider opportunities in local authority departments, which provide advice and guidance on the law to the authority and the public, for example, trading standards, planning and environmental health.


The teaching of law is mainly confined to further and higher education. In higher education the majority of entrants would have completed a higher degree and some would have also obtained a professional qualification. In further education there is no statutory requirement for a teaching qualification although such a qualification is increasingly useful for getting entry. It is possible for law graduates to train for the Further Education Certificate of Education.


A difficulty law graduates face with teacher training for schools is that institutions need to be satisfied that the content of their applicant’s initial degree is appropriately related to the work of either primary or secondary schools.

Those interested in applying for teaching in these sectors would need to discuss their academic background with the institutions concerned.

Find out more about jobs in social and pastoral care; law enforcement and protection; physical resources and the environment; education.

Commercial management

Law graduates present many skills required by employers in the commercial sector. Those interested in the business and commercial aspects of a law degree may want to consider accountancy, banking, insurance, personnel or purchasing/management.

Accountancy and financial management

Many aspects of accountancy relate to those found in legal practice that is, analysing large amounts of technical material, evaluating and writing reports or making recommendations and advising clients. Many firms of chartered accountants recruit law graduates, in particular for specialisation in tax work. However, all areas of accountancy may be of interest to those wishing to use their legal skills in a financial environment.


Banks, building societies and insurance companies have graduate recruitment schemes for general management training and also recruit into specific departments. These are open to graduates of any discipline but law is often viewed very positively. Insurance companies recruit into claims, underwriting and pensions departments. Loss adjustment might also be of interest to law graduates.

Find out more about jobs in finance; insurance and pensions.

Personnel/human resources

Law graduates enter training in personnel within a variety of organisations. Although there is no recruitment for a law degree, a legal background can assist in understanding complex legislation relating to personnel matters, for example, recruitment, work conditions, equal opportunities, health and safety and industrial relations.

Opportunities may also exist to work in the personnel department of a firm of solicitors or as a legal recruitment adviser.