WHAT CAN YOU DO IN LAW?
Law is a huge area and encompasses many different fields of expertise. Most of the big City based law firms offer different services within the law and when doing a training contract, you would usually do a rotation within the different fields before picking one area to specialise in.
The most obvious area of law for a doctor to specialise in is Medical Law. Medical Law is the body of laws concerning the rights and responsibilities of medical professionals and their patients. The main areas of focus for medical law include confidentiality, negligence and other torts related to medical treatment (especially medical malpractice), and criminal law and ethics.
PAY AND HOURS
Starting salaries for the first year of a training contract are c. £30k mark, rising to c. £50k on completion of the training contract.
Most law firms also offer to pay for your legal studies and give you a living allowance whilst you are studying, if you apply for this. As you can imagine, it is highly competitive, so it may be that you have to cover the cost of studies yourself!
Hours in the large law firms are long – expect to work about 80 hours per week.
To train as a lawyer, you will need to complete the academic stage of training (see the Law Society website).
The Common Professional Examination/Graduate Diploma in Law (CPE/GDL) covers the foundation training. Costs for this are between £3,320 – £8,950 for the year, depending on the course you choose.
If you wish to become a solicitor, you must then undertake a vocational Legal Practice Course (LPC). Costs for this are between £8,500 to £12,900.
If you wish to become a barrister, you must under undertake the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) before undertaking a Pupillage in a Barrister’s Chambers. The cost of the exam is between £12,500 and £18,000 for the year and you may also have to fund yourself through your Pupillage.
HOW TO APPLY
Think long and hard and do your research before applying. The cost and time commitment of training to be a lawyer should not be taken lightly.
Check out the different law schools that offer the legal courses.
When you are ready, you can apply to law firms directly through their website.
If you are looking for a Pupillage, you need to go through the Pupillage Gateway.