3 Reasons Why You Should Study a non-Law Degree Before Going Into Law
Do you need to study Law LLB to become a lawyer? As someone wanting to go into Law as a career, I was always puzzled by the best way to do this. I received conflicting advice – some people said that I should study a Law degree, whereas others encouraged me to study a non-Law degree. After researching my options, I discovered that the legal world is saturated with professionals that came from a non-Law background, professionals that are incredibly successful in what they do. I quickly realised that studying something I enjoyed was the best way in which I could enter the legal industry. For me, that was Classics.
If you are a non-law student considering their graduate career options or someone unsure whether to study a Law vs non-Law degree, let me show you why studying a Non-Law Degree will set you up fantastically for a career in Law!
Your degree is a selling point
Law firms received 1000s of applications from students all across the world – it’s a very competitive process! But if you have studied a non-Law degree, you can immediately set yourself apart from the many hundreds of students who apply. This is because you have had the chance to develop transferable skills that are highly valuable in any professional setting. Commercial law firms often hire 50% law and 50% non-law students – you may be surprised to see such a high number of non-law students, but given that your skillset is one of the main criteria they use when hiring, it is actually not surprising at all!
Your non-Law degree helps you to foster and develop a whole range of skills that are highly sought after in the legal industry. For example, if your degree demands you to do a lot of research to condense into an essay, this is a skill that you can highlight to be useful in a legal setting. Likewise, if your degree involves translation work as mine does, you could reference it to emphasise your attention to detail – a skill which every single lawyer must have. From analytical skills to communication skills, your non-Law degree will have helped you to develop a whole range of useful skills which all employers, Law or other, would desire. Sell yourself and your degree!
Top tip: I recommend looking at your degree specification to help you see what sort of skills you’ll develop and how.
In a very competitive legal job market, most employers have a 2:1 benchmark that all prospective candidates need to achieve to be considered for the role. Studying a non-Law degree might help you out in this way. By studying something you genuinely enjoy and want to do, you will naturally do better in your tests and assessments, yielding higher grades and results.
You’ll often find, as with anything, that you excel in things that you enjoy doing and your degree is no different. I’ve absolutely loved the modules I’ve been able to study during my Classics degree, and my enthusiasm for the topics has translated into grades that I’m super proud of! I don’t think I would have done half as well if I had decided to study straight Undergraduate Law.
Since the Law conversion course that you’ll need to take is only 1 year long (where you will learn 3 years of Undergraduate Law in 1,) why not study something that you enjoy first?
Studying a non-Law degree will also help to broaden your horizons should you have any doubts about whether or not Law is for you. You’ll have 3-4 years (depending on your course,) to test the waters and to think about career options in different industries. So, studying a non-Law degree will keep all of your options open, whereas studying Undergraduate Law could be restrictive in this sense.
Even if you do decide to take the Law conversion course after your degree, a more diverse skill set will be super helpful for your career journey. Legal employers want to hire people with a range of experiences and skills, as this will help them provide the best services to their clients, thereby benefitting their businesses. By studying a non-Law degree and gaining a unique academic expertise, you’ll immediately become an attractive candidate to those legal employers. Be open to all opportunities available to you and seek out as many as you can – all will be helpful for your career journey.
Top tip: Definitely make use of the King’s Careers and Employability Service: they host lots of different events with employers to help you out in your job search, workshops to improve your employability, and an internship and job search engine for students and alumni to use.
To explore undergraduate degree programmes at King’s, including Law LLB and Classics BA, click here
To watch Justine’s vlog on life as a King’s student, click here
To explore the King’s Careers and Employability web pages, click here