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Law career advice, too old to start?

(9 Posts)
IslaValargeone Wed 06-Apr-11 13:27:20

Is the Law profession one that welcomes older recruits or not?
I may have the opportunity to begin a law degree, (long held dream) and wondered whether it would actually be possible to turn it into a proper job, even though I would be knocking on 50 by the time I had completed the LPC.

csla Wed 06-Apr-11 20:48:38

There was a trainee in the small regional firm I trained at who was 54 when she qualified so it's certainly possible! If you're passionate about it then go for it but I'd do a lot of reasearch into the type of firm / area of law you want. Being a trainee can be a long hard slog and mean some seats which require long hours and not great pay, do you really want the stress?!

IslaValargeone Tue 24-May-11 20:34:06

Shamelessly bumping this for some more advice (hopefully)

K999 Tue 24-May-11 20:42:12

Traineeships are hard to get at the best of times, more so in the current economic climate. But that doesn't mean you are too old. Your chances will depend on the area of law you want to specialise in, how many hours you are willing to put in, family commitments etc....

Of course, a law degree is a great academic qualification and there are loads of career choices, other then being a lawyer. If you're interested and are prepared to work hard, why not give it a shot??

Fwiw, I started my degree when I was 27. Atbthe time, the firm I worked for took on a trainee who was 46. smile

emsyj Thu 26-May-11 11:13:28

In general, yes. I don't know anyone who has started a legal career in their 50s but certainly know a number who have switched to law in their 30s and 40s. It is probably one of the more mature-friendly professions tbh. It is very common for trainees to have had a previous career.

I would contact firms you are interested in and try to get work placements. Think about the skills you have picked up in your current/previous career and how they could be applied to legal work. What did/ do you do?

emsyj Thu 26-May-11 11:18:24

Check out the Chambers student guide - online info at and get a copy of the Training Contract Handbook (usually free from careers services). Also remember there are other ways to work in the law such as qualifying as a legal executive, working as a paralegal etc.

Merle Thu 26-May-11 11:25:17

Isla where have you worked before? Is your past experience transferable into the legal sphere? This would make the transition a lot easier and I think would help potential employers 'understand' you. It is, generally a profession which people start young, but there are exceptions.

BabyReindeer Fri 27-May-11 11:30:18

There are applicants in their late 40's and 50's - it seems to be attractive to retired police officers for obvious reasons.

wearenotinkansas Tue 31-May-11 05:25:50

Depends on what kind of law career you are looking for. Unless you have knowledge of another specialist area from your previous career (science/banking etc) then I think it will be tricky to get into a big city/commercial type firm tbh. Not because they are ageist as such but because the competition is so tough for anyone. That said, when I was in a smaller commercial firm I did have a trainee who was in her early forties and she was very good, partly because she was so keen but also very organised/focussed etc.

I also knew someone who trained as a barrister in their 50's after being a company secretary for years. He was extremely good at what he did, obviously loved it - and think he carried on working until his late 60's (or possibly later! ).

Agree with emsjy above about getting work experience. Will significantly help your chances of getting a job.

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