If you are thinking of forming a legal practice in England, then you should be aware of how long and complex the process can be. You might think, upon leaving school, that you would do a law A-level and progress from there.
Believe it or not, the law A-level is not compulsory to get onto a law degree. Indeed, many universities prefer ‘harder’ A-levels because they show capacity to learn – and the law A-level isn’t all that similar to what you would learn on a law degree.
Once you’ve done the law degree, you can operate as a solicitor, but you will be working for an existing law firm and you will need to spend a lot of time passing your Bar exam if you want to go down that route. It takes time and experience to work your way up in a company, and you’ll need to choose a specialism. Commercial law could be that specialism, if you wish.
Running a law firm is like running any other business, and it will take some time to build up a client base. Most big companies already have a team of lawyers on a retainer, and even smaller companies are likely to get referred to a law firm from a business support agency, that will have their own preferred providers already.
You could get onto the preferred providers list if you were to work with the local authority. In some cases would-be business owners get start up grants that they can spend on time with lawyers, accountants, etc, and you could become one of those providers – but you will have to accept that it could take a long time to get paid by the grant-giver. Do you have enough cash flow to cope with that?
Running a legal practice that operates in a different field, such as criminal defence, is another option, but again this has its own challenges. Click here to read more about that area of law. You can work long hours for little pay in that field, and unless you are very experienced the cases that you work on could be rather mundane. If you entered into the law field thinking that every case would be like a game of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney then you will quickly realise that you made a mistake – there are many other jobs that could be not just less stress, but also more financially rewarding.