"Law school taught me one thing: how to take two situations that are exactly the same and show how they are different." -Hart Pomerantz
Whether we love it or hate it, we have to go to school during our formative years to acquire an education to prepare us for a successful future. Schooling at a primary and secondary level remains compulsory because it's impossible to get any decent employment position without a degree from mandatory classes.
However, it is each person's decision, if you don't have parents forcing you to attend, to choose whether or not to go to further education classes at a university or college.
While it is true that there are many great careers available for those with only a high-school leaving diploma, most likely, the job of your dreams only becomes a reality with a university degree. The doors to intriguing careers with high-paying salaries is most of a guarantee if you have received specific training from a further education centre.
So, if you want to work as a lawyer, doctor, teacher, engineer, or businessperson, you might want to evaluate how many years of schooling your dream job requires.
Without further delay, in today's article, we shall discuss where the law is studied, how many years it takes to learn the law to become either a barrister or solicitor and some invaluable tips to make the lawyer training path more enjoyable.
Where is the Law Studied?
No matter where you live in the world, some professions cannot be done without attending school for various years at a reputable education centre such as a university. A lawyer is one of those professions. To work as a barrister or solicitor, a person needs to have acquired a degree or completed enough studies to possess an equivalency.
Nonetheless, where is the law studied in the UK? Throughout the United Kingdom, aspiring lawyers must attend classes at the various universities that provide law programmes. Undergraduate pupils take a Bachelor's in Law, or like a topic, to prepare themselves for internships/trainee programmes and the eventual Bar examination.
The best places in the UK where you can study law are the following universities and further education centres:
- University of Oxford
- University of Cambridge
- London School of Economics and Political Science
- University College London (UCL)
- King’s College London
- University of Edinburgh
- Queen Mary University of London
- Durham University
- University of Glasgow
- The University of Bristol.
Many of the previously mentioned law schools are outstanding in all aspects; however, the acceptance rates into law programmes are very slim at world-renowned education centres such as Oxford or Cambridge.
It is worth stating that several online programmes boast the objective of equipping curious students with an LLM to become lawyers in the future. Nonetheless, most online Bachelor's and Master's in Law courses are overseen by education centres across the UK or other countries.
The time it takes to study for a law programme depends on whether you want to become a barrister or solicitor, and that is what we will discuss below.
How Long Does it Take to Become a Barrister?
In the United Kingdom, there are far fewer barristers than there are solicitors. According to estimates, there are approximately 15,000 barristers currently working in the UK. The grand majority of barristers are "lone wolves" and decide to work independently as self-employed lawyers and usually become tenants in a set of chambers.
However, those who work in employed practice accept jobs at government entities, private companies, or charities.
Barristers avidly welcome salaries that are over £100,000 or more depending on their clients and in which city they are working. Nonetheless, to have such a tremendous annual pay, barristers studied hard throughout the university to equip themselves with the necessary skills.
For instance, in the UK, it takes five years to become a working barrister. After studying the necessary topics during the GCSEs and A-Levels in secondary school and getting accepted to a qualified university, the following steps must be adhered to become an employable barrister:
- The successful completion of a three-year law degree at a reputable university in the UK,
- After a year of studying and preparing for the Bar course and examination,
- One year trainee or pupillage program in chambers with experienced barristers.
Also, it's worth stating that if you possess a Bachelor's degree that isn't in law, you need to add a one-year conversion course to ensure you have the right abilities to practice law as a barrister.
Prices for books and tuition depend on the university you have been accepted to; nonetheless, these fees are pretty similar from one education centre to the next in the UK. Remember to include apartment rental fees if you are attending a uni that is far from home!
What about becoming a solicitor? Does it take as long as studying to be a barrister? Take a look at the following subheading to find out more!
How Many Years of Study is Required to Work as a Solicitor?
Working as a solicitor across either England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, or Wales has many benefits that keep individuals content in their professional life. For example, solicitors provide expert legal advice to people who are struggling. They also fight for justice and make sure that the law is upheld for their clients.
Solicitors are champions of justice and the world needs more like-minded individuals.
Solicitors accept employment positions at law firms and work as a team with others specialising in the following fields of law:
- Civil Litigation,
- Employment Law,
- Family Law,
- Human Rights Law,
- Immigration Law,
- Property Law,
- Tax Law.
Salaries for starting solicitors new to the job force range between £55,000 to £75,000 per year. But, how long does it take to earn the qualifications to work as a barrister? From start to finish, qualifying as a barrister takes either five or six years. As of autumn 2021, the following steps must be met to work as a solicitor in the UK:
- Complete a degree-level qualification in law or something similar (three years),
- Successfully pass both parts of the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE),
- Finish two years of full-time or acceptable part-time work in the legal field.
Also, after completing all of the previously mentioned steps, a solicitor in training must meet the SRA's character and suitability requirements. Therefore, it takes five to six years to become a solicitor; this depends on how fast you can complete the SQE in both its parts.
A "degree-level qualification" could mean an undergraduate diploma of completion, a Level 6 apprenticeship, a Level 6 CILEx qualification, or equivalent experience that is relevant to the legal field.
Tips to Implement When Studying Law
Reviewing the material of any academic discipline during the formative years is a daunting task. Throughout university, the stress of studying amplifies and becomes even more intensive, especially for mammoth topics like law or medicine.
Nonetheless, it is possible to tackle complex study topics head-on and with enthusiasm. How's that? By following the advice of experienced ones who have been through the process before. So, without further ado, the following are some helpful tips to implement when studying to become a lawyer:
- Read the Reading: it's no surprise that there is a lot of reading textbooks and reviewing past cases during law school. Therefore, to avoid falling behind, make sure that you do all the reading, no matter how insignificant it may seem. Try reading your textbooks or lesson notes when you are most awake during the day and find a quiet place to review the reading without any distractions.
- Form or Join a Study Group: of all the tips and tricks to succeed during law school, forming a study group is one of the best since it allows you to talk through the course material and increase your understanding by listening to the perspective of your classmates. A study group aims to help one another mutually; therefore, you can offer your study tips and listen to theirs. Find law classmates that have the same goals and study habits as you because if not, you'll be carrying everyone else's weight!
- Ask Questions: if you are afraid of asking questions for fear that you will be ridiculed or viewed as stupid, that needs to stop now. Asking questions is a vital part of learning, and no one should make you feel small. Try asking fellow students and professors about information that you do not fully comprehend. If you don't want to ask your questions in front of the entire class, request some time to speak with your law professor.
In conclusion, the time it takes to study the law to become either a barrister or solicitor is worth the effort since you will enjoy a fruitful career with plenty of money and the opportunity to help people through their complicated legal battles.