Job roles in law

In many areas of law, there are job roles carried out by people who have not studied law at university, who work under the supervision of solicitors or Chartered Legal Executives. Many of these roles may be a useful starting point if you are looking for employment to accompany the study element of the Chartered Legal Executive qualification.

You should also look at our apprenticeship hub for current vacancies.

Job roles in law firms

If you have an interest in getting in to law, have a look through the areas of legal practice we have listed below. These centre on the types of work that you might undertake while working in a law firm.

Advising on divorce, separation and other family matters: the family department in a law firm works on a wide range of matters. Clients may be seeking advice on divorce, separation, have problems relating to domestic violence or be seeking access to their children.

Advising on employment law and employment rights: this area of law involves giving advice to individuals relating to dismissal, discrimination and redundancy and also to organisations about their obligations to employees. Employment law includes all matters to do with the workplace and applies to organisations of all sizes.

Advising elderly clients on lasting powers of attorney and other matters: this area of law relates to advising clients about how to prepare for the possibility of becoming mentally or physically incapacitated, and how to manage financial and other assets in advancing years. It is often referred to as private client work.

Will-writing and applying for probate on death: a will is the legal document that specifies how a person would like their property to be distributed on their death. Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has died.

Buying and selling houses and flats: this area of law is called conveyancing and it involves taking details from clients and following the processes that need to be carried out to complete the sale or purchase of a property.

Resolving property disputes: property disputes are governed by two different areas of law – land law and contract law. This section covers disputes relating to rights to property where the dispute is governed by land law.

Working in civil litigation – contractual disputes: this area of law is very wide-ranging and covers any possible dispute arising out of a breach of contract affecting both individuals and organisations. Law firms often have separate departments to cover different areas, for example construction litigation, property litigation and projects.

Claiming for personal injury and working for insurance companies in defending claims: this area of law ensures that people who were injured through no fault of their own are adequately compensated. It covers everything from injury in a car accident to medical negligence and accidents at work.

Claiming for money that is owed – debt recovery: the work involves acting on behalf of clients to recover money that is owed. The debt can relate to anything from a tradesman not having been paid for services, through to payments due on large commercial contracts of any nature.

Advising on child care proceedings: this area of law relates to children being taken into care by local authorities and is carried out by legal practitioners who act on behalf of parents, grandparents or guardians.

Defending people accused of crime: this area of law relates to defending anyone who has been charged with committing a crime, including everything from road traffic offences through to serious fraud, assault and murder.

Job roles in other types of organisation

Many legal professionals have a successful career without working in a law firm. Below are some areas of legal practice and roles which you might find in non-law firm environments.

Working for a big company in its legal department: many large organisations have their own in-house teams to advise on a range of legal matters. Working in-house for an organisation means that working for just one client (the employer), rather than many different ones.

Working for your local council in its legal department: local Councils need lawyers to advise staff across many departments including housing, child protection, property and human resources.

Working for the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) as a caseworker: the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) is a government body responsible for prosecuting people for crimes committed in England and Wales. The CPS employs caseworkers to build prosecution files.

Working as a caseworker for your local police force: police forces throughout England and Wales employ file builders to put together case for passing to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

Working for a charitable organisation: not-for-profit organisations often have roles for unqualified legal staff.