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You can start a career in law with or without a law degree. Discover how to become a solicitor or barrister, as well as the work experience, skills and qualities that will make you a success.
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Justice calls

If you are seeking an intellectually stimulating career where you are at the heart of how society functions, look no further than the law. From employment to the environment, technology to property, human rights to divorce – wherever people are doing business or disputing their rights there’s the potential for legal involvement. You can join the legal profession with any degree background, although there are some additional steps for non-law students. Here we call upon the expertise of law recruiters, solicitors, barristers and professional bodies to give you the best advice on forging your way in the legal profession.

Search for: training contracts | vacation schemes | law insight programmes .

Or browse opportunities with chambers.

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Decisions, decisions

Choose your profession

The first big decision students need to make is whether they want to become a solicitor or a barrister or a third option: a chartered legal executive. Although there is more overlap between the roles than there was, there are still key differences – not least in the way you qualify. Discover more about these and work out which legal profession is right for you.

Your way in

The path to qualification

From student to lawyer

How you qualify as a lawyer depends on the type of lawyer you want to be and whether you are in England and Wales or Scotland. Gain a snapshot overview in our all-in-one UK guide before diving into our features for the different professions and countries.

Getting a training contract or QWE

Starting as a solicitor

Life as a trainee solicitor

Your first job is most likely to be as a trainee solicitor, undertaking a training contract or other form of qualifying work experience (QWE). Learn how training contracts and QWE work, as well as how to choose the right law firm and potential future legal specialism.

Called to the Bar

Beginning at the Bar

Hear a calling?

Your Inn of Court will ‘call you to the Bar’ once you have completed your Bar course, which is the vocational stage of training to become a barrister. Find out more about your Bar course options, how the Inns can help you as a student and beyond, and the skills you’ll need to be a successful barrister.

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Explore legal specialisms

Which practice area is for you?

You will need to have a broad idea of the type of law you wish to practise before applying for a training contract, QWE or pupillage. While both traditional rotational training contracts and pupillages will give you experience of different specialisms, the type of firm or chambers you join will determine the practice areas available during your training.

Read our complete guides to practice areas for aspiring barristers: from chancery to public law and from criminal to employment.

Compare and contrast different practice areas for trainee solicitors: from commercial and private client through to sport and technology.

Your foot in the door

Work experience & networking

Opportunities galore

There are many ways to gain law-related work experience and networking opportunities that will both help you confirm your career choice and enhance your CV. We help you to explore your options within the legal profession, but don’t forget that your non-law experience impresses recruiters too.

Picture of targetjobs law events: National Pupillage Fair, Inside City Law, Inspire Law and Aspire Law

Leap ahead with our law events

Meet firms and chambers

Each year targetjobs runs a series of free careers events for students interested in law – and they are a great opportunity to meet with representatives at the firms and chambers that interest you, to start networking and learn tips and tricks for the application process.

The targetjobs National Pupillage Fair, held each November, is your best chance to meet practising barristers and hear them reflect on life at the Bar. Aspiring solicitors, meanwhile, can take part in our popular Inside City Law event with RPC, Inspire Law (a social-mobility-focused event) and Aspire Law (for those of Black heritage).

Postgraduate & vocational study

We answer your most pressing questions about doing further study in law and give you advice on specific stages of the qualification process: conversion courses, the Bar course and the SQE.

Focus on patents

There is another kind of specialist lawyer that is a popular career destination for graduates: patent attorney. Discover how to get into this role with our essential advice.

Employers in Law

All employers

Our top employers

Industry leaders with a large annual graduate intake.

Featured employers

Active employers looking for graduate talent all year round.

And many more

Other employers who are active on targetjobs , regularly posting new opportunities and events during peak seasons.

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FAQs in Law

Securing pupillage is very competitive. Each year, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) publish key statistics around the numbers of Bar course students and pupils. They show that typically only around half of the number of people who start the Bar course each year gain pupillage and only around a quarter of that number gain tenancy. As such, it’s not unusual for Bar course students to apply multiple times for pupillage and take time out securing law-related work experience that will boost their applications

Figures circulating online suggest that there are around 5,500 training contracts each year, attracting around 30,000 applications – but the numbers will fluctuate each year. You can beat the odds by putting in the best application you can (ensuring it is well researched and tailored to the firm) and, if you are in the right year group, by securing a vacation scheme. Many firms prefer – or only – hire from their vacation schemes.

Training contracts that meet the strict requirements of the legal practice course qualification route will be phased out from 2024 onwards as firms switch to the solicitors qualifying examination (SQE) route. However, two-year schemes known as training contracts will still exist; many firms are still using the term to describe the two years of qualifying work experience that you need in order to qualify via the SQE route. See our advice on the different qualifying routes in our article on ‘how to become a solicitor’.

More careers advice

Browse by category

Advice for school leavers

Discover the world of options open to you on finishing school or college and get tips on how to make the right decision for you.

CVs, applications and tests

Find the tools and tips you need to help you apply for graduate jobs or internships. We cover every aspect of the application process, from writing a CV to answering online application questions and sitting psychometric tests.

Career ideas

Find advice for figuring out your dream career, including what options are available to you after graduating and how to choose the right graduate role.

Finding a job

Finding a job isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Here we help you to jump potential hurdles, giving essential advice for home and international students: from applying in tough economic times to getting a top graduate job with a 2.2.


Completing an internship allows you to sharpen your skills, improve your CV, prepare for the world of work and potentially land yourself a graduate job. Discover what internships actually involve, how to apply for them and how to make the most of them.

Interviews and assessment centres

You impressed on paper; now it’s time to show the employer in person that you’re the right hire. Learn how to do this with our expert advice for answering interview questions, developing interview techniques and acing assessment centre exercises.

Job descriptions

Discover the qualifications, skills and experience you’ll need for more than 300 job roles and find one you’ll love.

Job offers and working life

Job offers, rejection emails and stepping into the working world with your first graduate job can pull you in a million directions. Fortunately, we’ve curated advice on how to accept job offers, bounce back from rejection and make an impact in your first job.

Skills for getting a job

Discover the skills that major graduate employers seek and how you can demonstrate them on your application form, and at interviews and assessment centres.

University life

Wanting to leave uni with a degree is a given. But what do you want from the other bits of student life? Discover how to combine study, rest, work and play with our insights from students and graduates.

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