As unbelievable as this sounds to me, my daughter leaves school next week. It seems only yesterday that I was waiting at the school gate to greet her after her first day in the nursery class. But she’s all grown up, and from next Friday she will be on study leave, returning to school only to take her GCSEs. She starts at sixth form college in September studying an eclectic variety of A Level subjects.
Naturally this means she has to start thinking about a career. I admit I’m relieved that she never even considered being a lawyer. I think working for LawCare has given me a somewhat jaded view of the legal profession. I am sure there must be lawyers out there who are happy and fulfilled in their work, but since they don’t call our free and confidential helplines, I do not meet them.
My daughter originally had her heart set on being an astrophysicist, until a teacher told her (incorrectly as it turns out) that to be accepted to read Astrophysics at any university, she would need to get all A* grades at GCSE. She was very unhappy to have to abandon her dream, but has quickly come up with an alternative career choice, which she is just as excited about.
Did you always dream of being a lawyer? As a seven-year-old, did nothing seem more glamorous than Group Litigation Orders or the Landlord and Tenant Act? I always wanted to be a writer. So when my careers adviser at school asked what I wanted to be when I grew up I didn’t say “I want to work as an administrator for a charity which helps lawyers with problems like stress and alcoholism.”
Career plans can change at any point, whether you’re a sixteen-year-old choosing A levels, or a disillusioned lawyer in a high street law firm. There are so many career options out there, and there is no shame in exploring and pursuing them. For help with lateral thinking, have a look at the Alternative Careers handout on our website for ideas as to 100 other things you can do with a legal qualification, other than practise law.
LawCare’s free and confidential helpline is available 9-7.30 Monday-Friday, 10-4 weekends, on:
0800 279 6888 (Solicitors, Law Students and Legal Executives in England and Wales)
0800 279 6869 (Solicitors, Advocates and Law Students in Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man)
0800 018 4299 (Barristers, Clerks and Judges in England and Wales)
1800 991801 (Solicitors in the Republic of Ireland)
1800 303145 (Barristers in the Republic of Ireland)