Alternative Career Paths

What do Fidel Castro, Rebel Wilson, and Jerry Springer have in common? No, they don’t all feature in the acting credits for the film Pitch Perfect! And no, they aren’t – I think! – on President Obama’s ultimate dinner party guest list. The thing they have in common is that they all have law degrees. And you too, dear OU law student, can with the help of your Bachelor of Laws become an infamous President of Cuba; a respected stand-up comedian, writer and actor; or, have your very own tabloid talk show!

Okay, maybe not. But you can do a lot more with your law degree than you might think.

Whilst many students do intend to pursue a career as a solicitor or barrister, there are many other career paths which should not be ignored, particularly if you’re unsure about what you want to do post-graduation.

Below you will find a selection of alternative career paths which can be successfully pursued with your law degree in hand.

  • Government research officer

A law degree will help greatly in getting on the public sector career ladder in general. However, one such specific career choice within the public sector is that of government research officer. Much of the job involves collecting and analysing information which will be used to inform policy decisions either at local or central government level. In such politically uncertain times the need for incisive and analytical minds is more important than ever. Salary: entry-level officers can make between £23,000 – £35,000. For more information try the Civil Service Fast Stream here.

  • Tax inspector

No this is not a joke. I get that nobody likes to pay tax and everyone hates those who avoid – or worse – evade tax. However, working for HMRC as a tax inspector is an excellent way to use the skills gained throughout your law degree. The job typically involves dealing with tax returns and pursuing businesses and investigating any tax-dodging or other wrongdoing. Salary: for graduates pursuing the Tax Professional Development Programme starting salary is £25,000 (outside London).

  • Lecturer in further education

I suppose this is fairly obvious but it’s worth remembering that using your law degree to educate others is a very fulfilling way to pass on knowledge and legal skills. Teacher training is essential but this added step will build on many skills already gained throughout your law degree. Salary: between £18,000 – £23,000.

  • Marketing executive

Get your crayons out and start getting creative folks! If you have some interesting ideas for putting your local firm of solicitors on the map or you like thinking outside the box when it comes to spreading the word (whatever the word might be!), you may just be suited to a career in marketing. Specifically, a marketing executive will plan effective campaigns and network to get the firm or company they work for better known and appreciated. Law firms and legal charities all require marketing executives. Salary: early stages of your career between £20,000 – £30,000.

  • International aid/development worker

Big organisations such as the Red Cross and the United Nations employ international aid/development workers to undertake a variety of different jobs. Fundraising, project management and direct relief work are just some of the jobs which are central to the job. It’s not just the well-known charities and institutions who can provide a career in this area; many charities, NGOs and international aid agencies all require aid/development workers. Knowledge and experience of the law will stand you in good stead if you decide to take this route. Salary: early on in your career in the UK between £17,000 – £25,000; overseas workers may earn between £17,000 – £50,000.

The list above is by no means exhaustive. In fact, it’s pretty much ‘tip of the iceberg’ stuff. So, please follow the link here to find out more. If all else fails, there’s bound to be a power vacuum in Cuba in the next decade or so, so watch this space and put that law degree to good use!


Written by Jamie Scott Wright – OULS News Reporter

Jamie Scott Wright photo


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