As the title states and contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to be a qualified solicitor or barrister to forge a successful and fulfilling career in the legal sector. There are other avenues for success and progression outside of the traditional solicitor/barrister qualification route.
As the economy continues to grow, technology continues to advance, and changes to legislation and regulations come into effect (GDPR for example), the legal market is a hive of activity offering a variety of opportunities for talented non-solicitor/barrister legal professionals. This includes:
- Legal Executives
- Legal Assistants
- Legal Secretaries
- Company Secretaries
- Data Protection/Privacy Professionals
- Legal Administrators
As a specialist Legal Recruitment Consultant, I see first-hand the increasing demand for experienced professionals to fill these types of positions. At present, demand is exceeding supply particularly in “hot markets” such as property, funds, and construction to name but a few.
It would seem that some law graduates view roles such as Legal Executives, Paralegals, and Legal Assistants as more of a stepping stone than a long-term career option. This often rings true if the qualified solicitor/barrister route is the road a law graduate wants to ultimately take. However, young legal professionals unsure of going down the long and expensive qualified solicitor/barrister path should consider the merits of a rewarding, long-term career in any of the above roles.
There are currently a vast number of opportunities with promising career prospects for such legal professionals in both practice and in-house, across a variety of industries, and in both MNC’s and SME’s.
Benefits of These Roles:
- Quality of work: You can get superb exposure to high profile clients and/or interesting files/projects in such positions. Also, such experienced legal professionals are typically recognised as a valuable and knowledgeable resource by the organisation and are often a more accessible resource, particularly for more junior members of staff such as trainees or newly qualified solicitors.
- Autonomy: Senior Legal Executives/Paralegals for example can be responsible for managing large scale projects with minimal supervision. Also, they often act as the primary point of contact for clients on a day-to-day basis.
- Work/life balance: Long hours can be a regular occurrence for solicitors and barristers depending on the legal team structure and/or the organisation. Legal professionals such as Legal Executives, Legal Secretaries and Paralegals can often enjoy a better work/life balance than their qualified counterparts.
- Competitive package: As demand grows for experienced professionals as mentioned above, particularly in the relevant “hot markets”, we are seeing an increase in packages in certain areas to address the increasing demand.
It is important to note that if obtaining a professional qualification is a goal, there are a number of options for example, ICSA and/or IAPP qualification. While these are not necessary to work as a Company Secretary or Data Protection/Privacy professional respectively, they are however globally recognised and highly-regarded.
We recently issued our 2018 Azon Salary Guide which was also featured in the Irish Times. It’s an excellent resource for more information relating to the legal market. You can find it here: http://bit.ly/2BrjSmu
I am working on a variety of roles across Dublin, Limerick, and Cork including Legal Executives, Legal Secretaries, Paralegals, Legal Assistants, and Company Secretaries in both practice and in-house.
Contact Rory Bourke in confidence for further details:
firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 015549298