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Go into Law or Finance?(24 Posts)
Trying to advise DS who’s going into 2nd year studying Geography at Cambridge.
His plan was to go into Law and do the conversion etc, but now fancies finance. He’s been on insight days to both and is indifferent.
Does anyone have any advice to give?
He would like to move to London and live that life for 5-10 years, but then fancies moving back to somewhere with a slower pace of life where an actual house is affordable, suitable for children etc.
Are one of these fields easier to have a well paid job outside of the city?
Finance. A million times. It’s got far more inbuilt flexibility than law and there are many more potential openings at different stages of your career where you can still make serious money.
Gosh - I’m impressed at his long term planning! I’m not sure it’s entirely realistic due to the cost of renting and living in London.
However, I’d be hugely concerned about Brexit for Finance. No doubt others will have a better insight than I do on this and the likelihood of firms moving out of London and the uk. I do know a friend of DDs works at a very high class Merchant Bank after PPE at Oxford (went a year early) and he surfaces occasionally. Obviously his money is stellar after 5 years in but the work levels are insane. No doubt there are options for Geographers in Finance but the competition is fierce and not every company pays top dollar.
There are opportunities for Law in the same way but he needs to get his ducks in a row re internships and contracts prior to the GDL. The big law firms accelerate you through their own bespoke courses after the GDL (or even the GDL but I’m not sure as Dd is a barrister). You need to avoid paying the £9000 plus GDL course fee if you can so he needs the training contract with the law firm first.
Therefore he needs to check out exactly when to apply for internships as that is the best way to know if you will want this work and the firms can look at you, whether law or finance. 5 years is a bit short when they have trained you and the money is nowhere near London rates even in the Home Counties. Most people continue with their jobs and commute.
I think he should now know which avenue he wants because planning is now important and you cannot really have a serious interest in both. Does he have a Maths A level? What role in banking would he want? He needs to do some more research in my view because I’m slightly worried that he thinks this is easy money. It’s not.
Finance... There is only one thing better than having money and thats counting other peoples'.
Advance planning of internships is even more critical in Finance than in Law. But if he’s reading Geography he’ll need PG qualifications to get a good entry level job whichever he picks. Our DCs are going for Finance with Economics UG degrees and both have seriously impressive internships and Masters.
DDs friend didn’t have post grad. He’s just massively intelligent! However if you are not stellar Oxbridge and the right degree, (I’m not sure how good Geography is for finance) you may well need a masters as user says. Also, the grad market moves at a pace so what is needed now is key.
For Law, you need to apply, and be accepted, very early to get the GDL paid. Never too early to check it all out and there is no shortcut to doing the legwork.
One of our DCs is currently in NYC on induction training for a US bank (he’ll be working in London). 150 trainees in their first job. None of them w/o some sort of PG. Most are plurilingual.
I think that’s unusual. Most young people in this country are not bilingual, let alone multilingual. Any more than many Americans are. That doesn’t mean they cannot get very highly competitive jobs. It would be very odd for a Bank/financier not to consider people with degrees in History, Economics and Engineering who are not bi lingual. I wouldn’t worry about that unduly op.
I am not sure what Masters he could do that user would find suitable? What is available post a Geography degree that would make him employable? If everyone has post grad and is multi lingual then there’s no hope for anyone else at all and this is not the case. Definitely not for law anyway! However making a decision and further research is vital!
The bank DC is going to work for has only recruited Brexit proof graduates this year.
I can see that makes sense and goes back to my original concerns over Brexit that other posters have not commented on. Therefore Finance might be very difficult. Few British Economics grads will be multilingual though unless they are from a multilingual household. Most cannot study Economics and two languages.
DC both studied Economics and there were plenty of plurilingual students. But they didn’t need to study languages - they’d learned them throughout their childhood and were already totally fluent.
Great! My DD is also multilingual however most children do not and cannot have access to other languages in order to be fluent. It’s impossible as I’m sure you know. If neither parent speaks another language, which is the majority of UK households, then children do not have that advantage. Clearly the OPs DS might have another language but he has done very well to get to Cambridge. It’s a huge shame some doors may well be closing.
"Finance" is as broad as "Law" . Does he mean accounting, actuary, stock broker, banking, auditing ... ?Qualifications , potential employers and entry routes will vary accordingly.
“Finance” usually means banking, private equity etc. It’s not an umbrella term for number based careers.
Dh is in "Finance" - he trained as a Management Accountant and has worked for Insurance companies and Banks.
That’s not what a Masters in Finance means, though.
Op didn't mention a Masters, it certainly would not be a requirement to work in the City.
That’s what I thought LIZS. I think user is talking about very specific work.
What's he actually interested in?
I'd forget about law vs finance for the moment, and think about his skills and interests.
If he's details orientated then he could do well in an equity analysis role or equally in corporate law.
Or if he's a real people person (horrible phrase, but you know what I mean), look at a relationships role in a bank or... idk, there must be some legal roles that require this!
My point is, both areas are so wide that he should think about specific roles and go from there
If you want to live the London life though and earn loads, in law, you will need to get qualified. Therefore getting chosen to do the grad scheme is key whether you are a people person or not. Many family solicitors are people oriented but they are not necessarily earning big bucks in London - although the divorce ones can do quite well. These are not city solicitors though doing mergers and acquisitions!
Would he be interested in financial services law? A small number of city banks offer in house training contracts but some require the applicant to already have the GDL/LPC qualification which would have to be funded individually.
Or would he be interested in looking at city law firms that has finance as a core practice area? DD has a training contract with a firm that insist that she has to do two of her six month seats in either finance, project development & finance or mergers & acquisitions. The bonus of this is that they will fund the cost of the GDL/LPC in addition to providing a grant of around £8k whilst doing so.
Unless your DS is multilingual and has an EU passport, Law would be the safer option at the moment.
Corporate lawyer here. If I had my time again I would go finance. The law is a hard old slog, many more opportunities in finance I would say. And if he changed his mind in a few years financial training would make him very attractive to city law firms.
Also, it's a nonsense to say does are closed if not masters qualified and a linguist. He's got a minimum of 2 years more study if he wants to be a lawyer anyhow so I don't see a real difference.