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Legal and Political Services

Ways in

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Ways in to legal jobs

Bailiffs

  • Although bailiffs do not need any formal entry qualifications to train, employers may require a minimum of five GCSEs (A*-C), including English and maths or equivalent qualifications. Applicants need to show that they do not have a debt or criminal record.  A full driving licence is usually essential.

 Barristers

  • Before entering training Barristers need an approved law degree, or a non-approved degree followed by a postgraduate conversion course. Training involves completing a Bar Vocational Course (BVC) followed by a year of pupillage, spent working and training with an experienced barrister. Trainees spend time shadowing and observing their pupil supervisor, gradually taking on cases as they gain experience.

 Court Administration officers

  • For direct entry (rather than from promotion), officers need to have five GCSEs (A*-C), including English language, or an NVQ Level 2 in administration or equivalent qualifications. An increasing number of successful applicants have A levels or even higher qualifications. Applicants must meet nationality requirements and undergo checks through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB)..

Legal Executives

  • Many new entrants have more than the minimum recommended qualifications of four A*-C GCSEs, such as HNDs or sometimes law degrees. Very occasionally, an an Apprenticeship in business, administration and law.might be available. ILEX offer the relevant qualifications.

Paralegals

  • No specific qualifications are required to become a paralegal but most employer will expect good GCSEs or A levels as a minimum. Some will a degree in law or legal studies or the postgraduate legal practice course (LPC).
  • Non-law organisations that employ paralegals in-house may take on unqualified staff and provide professional training. It may be possible to start in a clerical post in a legal office.

Solicitors

  • Solicitors must hold a qualifying law degree, or a degree in any subject plus a Graduate Diploma in law (GDL) or Common Professional Examination (CPE), or a Senior Status law degree or be a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.
  • Training as a solicitor involves taking the Legal Practice Course (LPC) followed by a two-year training contract with a solicitor or in-house legal department.

Ways in to Political jobs

  • Most political researchers have a degree. Some roles may require a good class of degree, eg 2:1 or above. The degree subject is less important than relevant work experience and commitment. However, degrees in politics, law, public relations or a related subject may improve work prospects.

Political/Constituency organisers

  • There are no specific entry qualifications, but most applicants have a degree. You need to do voluntary work for a part to show your commitment. Political parties also have national youth wings in which students and other young people can become actively involved.

Politicians

  • All election candidates must be over 18 years of age.
  • There are no minimum entry qualifications. Politicians require a strong commitment to a political party or ideal and experience of campaigning at a local level or volunteering to deliver party leaflets.
  • MPs are also required to be a British citizen, or a citizen of a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland.
  • MEPs can be citizens of any European state and councillors should satisfy either qualification and have been resident in the local area for at least 12 months. Certain people are legally barred from standing for election.

For courses in higher education, see UCAS

For courses in schools and colleges, see UCAS Progress

For Apprenticeship information, including vacancies, see the National Apprenticeship Service