PRIVATE PRACTICE LAW FIRMS
A law firm is the traditional and perhaps most common employer of Solicitors. However, there are many types of firms you can choose to work for.
In a law firm you will tend to specialise or at least focus on one area of law and represent a variety of clients on a host of different matters each with their own deadlines. Aside from the day to day legal work undertaken, Solicitors must also learn to sell the firm’s services (as well as cross sell other work the firm may undertake) to bring in new clients and as such networking is considered a key skill.
Both Solicitors and Barristers may work in-house and often make the move having gained experience in private practice first. Specific roles and work vary enormously. You may be the sole In-house Solicitor or be part of a team.
In-house Solicitors and Barristers advise the business, as they would advise the external clients if they worked in private practice. They work to identify the best solutions to a range of situations.
Most roles in-house do not require professionals to record their time, or to focus as much on business development, as their clients are internal.
You may aim to be the Head of the Legal Team In-house, a role which is likely to have a strategic function within the company. An In-house legal advisor has the opportunity to be an integral part of the wider commercial activities of a business and may be able to achieve greater financial efficiency when managing a panel of external legal advisors.
BIRMINGHAM COUNSEL CHAMBERS
Counsel Chambers can be described as a grouping of specialist Counsel (Barristers), who are self employed. Chambers have Barristers with many different specialism’s, for example Criminal, Civil, Regulatory Commercial/Planning.
Examples of some of the Chambers in Birmingham are as below:
St Philips – Commercial Regulatory
No 5 Chambers – Commercial – Planning
The Public Sector can also offer exciting opportunities for a career in law. The following areas may be of interest:
1. Crown Prosecution Service – criminal advocacy in the Criminal Courts
2. Legal support for HM armed services
3. Other public bodies, Universities, Fire Service, Police
4. Court Service
5. Central Government/Treasury Solicitors
6. Local Government
All of the above offer the opportunity to work across other fields, i.e. the Crown Prosecution Service, undertake prosecution work in the Magistrates and Crown Courts, and have the opportunity to obtain higher court rights.
Most Local Authorities have an in-house legal service. Some small District Councils may only have one Solicitor with larger City Authorities having large departments providing the opportunity to specialise in many areas of legal work. There can also be the opportunity for legal traineeship. Local Governments can provide high quality legal work with a good work life balance.