A Guide To Starting Work In the Legal Profession Without a Degree
Browse All Courses
If you’re interested in law but don’t want to commit to a full legal degree, how can you find out if it’s really for you? There are many ways to get a foot in the door of law and get some legal advice before you decide if it’s for you or not.
The fact is, to be a lawyer you have to go through the process of getting a degree. But a law degree is a huge commitment, both in terms of time and money. There are many legal courses that you can do that will give you a basis for learning, and can assist you in figuring out whether or not you want to pursue a longer term study commitment. A legal studies study design will hopefully also help you in further studies, as, depending on the course, you will learn a great deal about the legal system in New Zealand and possibly Australia, including:
You may also choose to complete a specific course as a basis for if you’re interested in one particular area of law. For example, the New Zealand Government has some very specific laws in regards to the Maori and other native people of New Zealand, including a Waitangi tribunal and a Maori land court – the decisions and implications of these courts are specific to New Zealand, so studying the treaty of Waitangi, while imperative to someone working in the area, is an area that may not be recognised globally. For that reason, you may choose to complete short courses even after you’ve completed a degree.
There are over
practicing lawyers in New Zealand
Working in Law
Many people choose to start working in law after completing a course as their final career or while they complete a degree. Legal aid is a popular choice, as it’s one of the ways that people can contribute to society and make a difference. There are legal aid offices all over New Zealand and Australia, but it’s important to know about relevant legislation – working for Legal Aid Victoria, for example, is very different to working for Legal Aid Auckland.
Another popular option for those studying or those having completed a course in law or legal studies is working as a receptionist for a company that a) regularly deals with matters of New Zealand legislation b) is an active law firm or c) for legal aid or other charity organisations. This is a fantastic way to get started in the industry and find out about resource management and other administration skills that are valued at any organisation, as well putting you in an environment where issues such as employment law, commercial law and contract law may be regularly discussed. It also gives you free legal related perks, such as regular access to New Zealand’s main law journal or other specific legal publications and the opportunity to make some serious connections with members of New Zealand’s law society.
In New Zealand, a lawyer makes an average salary of
In New Zealand, a legal secretary makes an average salary of
Life in Law
If you decide that you do want to pursue a career as a lawyer after completing a course, you can look forward to a career where you truly help people. Whether you work for the ministry of Justice or the Environment Court, or specialise in matter of legislation around the electoral roll or how global decisions made in similar systems such as Canada, London and Australia will affect the law of New Zealand, the work you do will help those who otherwise would be lost without you. Even if you choose not to pursue a career as a lawyer, every law related company, including the legal services board and any law firm, including top companies that deal with the SUpreme Court of New Zealand, need receptionists, personal assistants and other professionals to ensure that the company runs smoothly. If you have a knowledge of New Zealand law and legal concepts, you’ll be a highly valued worker.
In 2016, there were
law firms in New Zealand alone
No matter what level of legal studies you complete, from a Certificate to a Masters degree, all of New Zealand, from Wellington to Christchurch and internationally, you can make a career out of your passion for helping others through the legal system.
Want to read more?
Here's some more articles similar to this one.
The Top Pathways to Becoming a Cybersecurity Specialist
Cybersecurity is a thriving field that benefits from a diverse workforce. This means there could be an avenue for you, whether you have absolutely no experience in cybersecurity, have a general background…
How to Start Your Career as an Esthetician
Esthetics is an exciting part of the beauty industry. In this deep dive, learn about the job description, what training is needed and how to get started. A career change can be…
Everything You Need to Know About Becoming a Midwife in NZ
Midwifery is one of the most rewarding jobs in nursing. Whether that be helping women during the birthing process in a hospital, helping them through a home birth, or supplying both antenatal…
How to Become a Counsellor in NZ: Make a Difference in Mental Health
If you are a good listener, love to help others and have an interest in psychology, then perhaps you should consider pursuing a career in counselling. Counselling is one of the most…
The 10 Best Working From Home Jobs That Will Earn You a Living (2022)
Working from home jobs are rapidly becoming the norm all over the world. The COVID-19 pandemic has left a distinct mark on workplaces, with people realising productivity can happen outside of the…
8 Best Career Paths for People with Depression and Anxiety
Work is stressful. But when you’re living with depression, anxiety, or other mental illness impacting your mental health, your job can leave you feeling beyond defeated. Running around, meeting deadlines, sending emails…