The legal landscape is changing for law graduates

Climate change, forced displacement, and the use of artificial intelligence are only some of the global challenges affecting the legal landscape today. As the legal sector reacts, the need for graduates who are resilient and able to adapt to our changing society is becoming increasingly important.

On this page, we're covering your burning questions, like; how will a law degree benefit my future career prospects? And how will following the degree route help me to succeed in a challenging jobs market? You'll also learn how Essex Law School will help you achieve your career goals through gaining real life experience during your degree.

You'll find information on various career paths for law graduates, and not just traditional routes, but roles and careers that are relevant to today's world, and which tackle pressing issues like our global refugee crisis, and the immense impact Brexit is having on businesses and economies all over the world. We've also got you covered with information on how to become a barrister, solicitor, or licensed conveyancer for example.

As we're immensely proud of the achievements of our alumni community who are fiercely representing around the world, we're sharing some inspiring alumni stories to show you exactly what you can achieve with hard work, determination, and that fearless Essex spirit.

We know the future right now is unpredictable, but it's without a doubt that with a law degree from Essex, you will be ready for it.


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Which jobs will suit me?
  • You could consider professional routes such as becoming a barrister, solicitor, arbitrator, or licensed conveyancer, working across areas such as commercial law and digital technologies
  • In the private sector, you could consider a career in policy analysis, as an Economist, Interpreter, Human Resources Officer, or Human Rights Reporter
  • A career in the public and not-for-profit sector could involve working as a climate activist, data protection officer, Forensic Psychologist, Welfare Rights Officer, Auditor, or Political Risk Analyst

How will a law degree benefit my future career prospects?

Which employers will value my degree?

Law affects every part of our life from what we can post on social media and the complexities of buying a house, to international commerce and the protection of human rights. The legal sector is vast, and evolving at a rapid pace as it must also respond to the challenges we face as a society. Therefore, employers across a range of sectors will value law graduates who can show adaptability, resilience, and have a critical knowledge and understanding of the law in different contexts.

For example, large law firms will value those with knowledge in family law, employment law, commercial and business law as these areas are booming due to the pandemic. Charities and NGOs working with migrant communities facing displacement will value graduates with knowledge in international humanitarian law, and law graduates who have an understanding of the drastic realities of climate change and a knowledge of environmental law will be key in helping the government, and businesses respond to the global climate crisis.

A degree from Essex Law School will also prepare you for careers in areas of law such as:

  • human rights
  • criminal justice
  • commercial law and corporate social responsibility
  • copyright and trademark law
  • property law
  • international maritime law
  • finance and foreign direct investment
  • constitutional and administrative law
  • equity and trusts

These are just a few examples of the areas of law that a degree from the School can lead to. The skills you will develop will enable you to successfully transition into a wide range of potential career paths, and be able to respond to the changing, competitive employment landscape.

Impatient to directly defend Human Rights? You could also use your undergraduate law degree as a foundation to study our MA Social Work. You’d then be eligible to apply for professional registration as a Social Worker where on a day to day basis, you’d be advocating for others using your knowledge of law and human rights.


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Which skills will I develop in readiness for the workplace?

Legal professionals play an important role in helping charities, companies, businesses, and governments respond to the challenges we face today. At Essex, you will be immersed into a broad programme of study, designed to challenge you, develop your knowledge in a range of legal contexts, and prepare you to work with a diverse range of people so that whichever sector you choose to work in, you will be able to demonstrate the necessary skills, experience and knowledge to succeed in your chosen career and help shape the future legal environment.

A degree from Essex Law School will help you to develop:

  • enhanced research skills which will enable you to conduct legal research of the highest quality, a necessary skill for working at NGOs, international organisations, law firms and academia
  • the ability to place law in international contexts, allowing you to work at any company with international links as you will have acquired a full understanding of its operations
  • the ability to consider, evaluate and respond to alternative and, possibly, conflicting points of view
  • a critical awareness of the nature of law within its social, political, sociological, philosophical, economic and historical contexts
  • knowledge of legal rules, and ability to consider the function of law in society, the philosophy of law, policy issues and law reform
  • the ability to explore and debate difficult questions; should crime be punished? What responsibilities do businesses owe to society? How does international law regulate the conduct of hostilities and the protection of victims of conflict and acute crisis?
  • the ability to think independently and be able to present rational, coherent and accurate arguments
  • a deeper knowledge and understanding of the central issues and debates surrounding the application and justification of human rights within a culturally complex and diverse world

Those who choose to study joint honours courses will acquire critical, reflective and analytical skills that are common to both areas of law; and will explore the differences between them and the approaches taken within legal and political thought.

There are also many opportunities for law students at Essex, which provides real-life experience working in our Essex Law Clinic, and on human rights projects in partnership with global human rights organisations through our Human Rights Centre Clinic, based in our leading Human Rights Centre.


Read the article: 7 transferable skills you'll develop studying law

How will following the degree route help me to succeed in a challenging jobs market?

A degree from the Essex Law School will ensure you graduate with specific knowledge, experience and transferable skills in readiness for the workplace, helping your CV to stand out in what we know to be a competitive industry.

85% of our law students are in employment or further study (Graduate Outcomes 2020), so you can be confident that whichever route you choose, we'll make sure that you're well placed to help employers respond to the ever-changing needs of society.

The legal landscape is continuously evolving as it reacts to our changing society. Employers are seeking adaptable and resilient law graduates with a diverse knowledge of the law, across a variety of industries.

You'll have the opportunity to study a distinctive range of courses and modules as an Essex Law School student. You can choose from courses and modules in areas such as commercial law, human rights, maritime law, and corporate responsibility to name a few. You'll have the opportunity to gain knowledge in contemporary issues of cultural diversity, learn about the key features of property law, understand criminal law in England and Wales and explore many challenging questions facing the world we live in today.

The courses are designed to enable you to tailor your study around areas most closely aligned with your career goals, whether that's following a traditional route in becoming a solicitor or barrister, or following a pathway leading you into a career as a policy researcher, a frontline journalist, or even an entrepreneur.



How will the School support my career development?

Career Management and Personal Development Skills module

As a student of Essex Law School, you'll be taught how to prepare for a career in the legal profession. You'll uncover a motivation to become an agent for change, and we'll ensure you're equipped with the right tools and knowledge to pursue the fight for justice, whichever path you choose.

In your first two years at Essex, you'll take a career management module alongside other law subjects, where you'll be challenged to think deeply, broadly and strategically about career paths. This module is designed to enhance your employability profile by helping you learn your strengths and goals, and develop an understanding of what employers are looking for, both within and outside of the legal profession.

You'll get to participate in activities, workshops and sessions that help you to develop, whilst building on your skills and competencies, helping your CV to stand out in the graduate market.


Learn more about the career management module

Placements and study abroad


Our undergraduate law degrees can include an optional placement year, where you can gain professional experience with a relevant company. We also work with the University's Student Development Team to help you find out about other work experience, internships and voluntary opportunities. Carrying out a placement or a voluntary position helps you to gain experience working in a professional legal environment, it gives you the opportunity to explore areas of law you may be interested to pursue a career in, and provides you with key contacts within the legal sector, giving you a competitive edge in the graduate job market.

Students have previously interned with Amnesty International, Anti-Slavery International, Article 19, The Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, The Council of Europe, JUSTICE, The International Commission of Jurists, The International Service for Human Rights, INTERIGHTS, Minority Rights Group International, REDRESS and UNHCR to name a few organisations.


Learn more about placements

Year abroad

We have partner institutions all over the world who are excited to welcome you, so if you're keen to study abroad for a year, have the itch to travel, and want to make life-long memories, this is the perfect opportunity for you.


Learn more about studying abroad


Access to opportunities from our Careers Services

Our Careers Services will support you from the moment you join us at Essex, through to graduation and beyond. Our staff understand the challenges of finding work, and can help you explore your options and identify your opportunities, whatever stage you are at in thinking about your future.

 The Careers Services provides a range of services, such as:

  • providing one-to-one careers advice
  • hosting workshops on employability skills
  • support finding placements and internships
  • offering budding entrepreneurs support on how to start your own business
  • employability and careers fairs
  • support in writing your CV
  • The Big Essex Award which provides a whole range of marketing, fundraising, networking and project management skills. The award identifies the skills you’ve developed over the course of your studies and records your achievements on your degree transcript
  • support transitioning from one career to another
  • hunting for the perfect job


Explore opportunities from the Careers Services

Opportunities and discounts for further study

Many graduates of Essex Law School will decide to continue their studies at Masters or PhD level. This is an excellent idea if you are interested in focusing on a particular area of law and want to acquire the in-depth knowledge and skills needed to specialise in your chosen field. Our postgraduate students come to Essex from all over the world, to learn from our expert scholars, and benefit from our global education.

If you're interested in pursuing a career around some of the pressing challenges our world faces today, you may be interested in studying our LLM International Trade and Maritime Law, LLM International Commercial and Business Law, International Humanitarian Law, or even our LLM Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These are just a few of the specialist courses you could study with us. Browse our full list of Masters courses to find your advanced area of study.

Whichever course you choose,  having an advanced skill set when it comes to understanding our worlds most significant challenges, will be attractive to employers across the globe who are looking to overcome the many challenges our society faces in a post-pandemic era.


View our Masters courses 

Funding your further study and alumni loyalty discounts

There are often scholarship and funding opportunities available for students within the Essex Law School. Browse our scholarship finder for funding opportunities which may be available. 

If you are a graduate of the University of Essex, studied abroad here, or have a spouse or partner studying here as a full-time international student paying overseas fees, we'll give you a loyalty discount of up to 33% on the tuition fee for your first year of postgraduate study at Essex.

For more information, please visit our scholarships and funding page.


Order our postgraduate prospectus

An excellent on-going relationship after you graduate

In Essex Law School, we're proud to continue our lifelong relationship with our graduates all over the world. You'll also remain a member of our incredibly vibrant University alumni network, a community which welcomes all graduates of Essex throughout our history. Your exclusive membership will give you access to discounts, networking events and so much more. You can hear inspiring stories from other members of our global alumni community, and use our Friend Finder Service to reconnect with your old friends. Here at Essex, we value the advice and knowledge that our alumni have soaked up along their journey's, so we are eager for our alumni to come and volunteer at Essex, and help make a difference to the next generation of graduates.


Learn more about our alumni network 
Chad Blackman
UN post for Essex Law School graduate

Law graduate Chad Blackman has been made Barbados' Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Other International Organisations in Geneva. Ambassador Blackman graduated with an LLB in Law and an LLM in International Trade Law and has since forged an impressive career.

Read more about Chad's career

Our inspiring alumni stories

Our graduates continue to make us proud and are inspirational representatives of the Essex Law education. Essex law School graduates have gone on to a wide variety of careers in international and intergovernmental organisations or employment with governments across the world, in commerce and banking, in non-governmental organisations and, as might be expected, in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Our graduates have gone onto work in companies such as the Home Office; The Guardian; National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children; World Health Organization; and The Institute of Public Finance, securing roles such as National Protection Officer for UNHCR; an advocate for Refugees International; a lawyer for the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights; and a trade promotion manager at the Department of Trade and Industry, to name a few.


Meet some of our community

Abena Agyemang Prempeh
“I have gained skills in professionalism, employability and commercial awareness. It taught me discipline, perseverance and has aided my decision to pursue law further.”
Abena Prempah LLB Law, 2020
Jade Hunt
“Being an active member of the Essex Law Clinic, I have enjoyed the opportunity to put the legal skills I learnt in lectures at Essex into practice, offering legal advice to people who may not have had access to it otherwise.”
Jade Hunt Final Year Student in Essex Law School, 2020
Catherine Duggan, wearing a maroon-coloured top and glasses
“Letter writing, practical legal research, interviewing clients, note-taking and providing oral advice - these skills take years of practice and training. Partaking in work at the Essex Law Clinic gives such a great head start.”
Catherine Duggan LLB Law, 2020

Find out more about careers and employability at Essex

You can be confident that you'll graduate equipped for your future career. Whether you want to follow the natural path your course might lead to, start your own business, or just get onto the career ladder. See what Essex can offer you.


Explore careers support
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Get in touch
Penelope Breary-Horne Employability Director
Essex Law School