A Guide To Starting Work In the Legal Profession Without a Degree
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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.
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