As the new year begins it brings with it the opportunity to evaluate our positions and consider our legal career goals for 2023. Although it can be daunting, it’s a great chance to get a better insight into where you see your future self within the legal profession, and to devise a plan on how you aim to get there.
However, setting legal career goals can be tricky. What qualifications will I need to enhance my career? How long will these take? What pathways are available to me?
In this blog, we will delve into how you can set yourself up for success in 2023 whilst navigating the often confusing range of options available to help you make progress in your legal career.
(1) Explore the options for career growth available to you
First, it’s important to explore the possibilities available given your current position.
Within the legal professions there are a range of routes you can choose from. Whether you’re taking your first steps to becoming a paralegal, or you’re hoping to step up a level and become a solicitor or notary, each goal will have a range of pathway options.
When it comes to taking the next step, it often requires a legal qualification. Therefore, it’s important to consider which qualifications you’ll need before you set specific legal career goals for the year.
Law Training Centre offers a range of accredited online legal courses to help you meet your 2023 goals, including:
- SQE preparation courses for aspiring solicitors
- CLC diplomas to become a licensed conveyancer or probate practitioner
- CILEX pathways to becoming a chartered legal executive
- NALP courses for those looking to get into or enhance their paralegal careers
- The Notarial Academic Training Course for aspiring notaries
- Propertymark qualifications for those working in real estate
(2) Decide which route to take
The second step is narrowing down your choices, and deciding which pathway is best suited to you and your circumstances.
It’s important to research the qualification you’re looking to take and ensure you understand the commitment it requires, especially when you’re trying to set your goals. Factor in your work-life balance and how this will be affected by taking on a new educational commitment, and consider whether the course is right for you in relation to your knowledge and experience. For example, if you were looking to take the SQE, there are a range of preparation courses available for those with differing levels of knowledge and experience – you might need to take our most comprehensive preparation courses, the SQE1 & SQE2 Full Prep Courses, or you might only need to take our SQE1 and SQE2 Just Mocks courses to refresh your knowledge. It’s essential to consider these differences when choosing to take on a qualification.
You should also consider important factors like price and time commitment. Make sure to look into bursaries and scholarships on offer, such as our Access To Law Scholarship, as well as opportunities for instalment plans and professional qualification loans. You should also think about how long the course will take to complete, and how much time you realistically would need to commit to study the course each week.
(3) Set specific goals with achievable deadlines
Finally, you will need to decide on your specific goals for the year. Your goals will be guided by the route you have decided to take. Some goals may be bigger than others and harder to achieve, but have ambition and challenge yourself if you can. It’s always a good idea to set some larger goals that are more ambitious, but your smaller goals, or milestones, can help you achieve that.
It’s often best to start with your more ambitious larger goals. These can be chosen based on the route you have decided to take to enhance your legal career.
For example, a larger goal could be completing the NALP Level 7 Diploma in Paralegal Practice and qualifying as a Paralegal Practitioner. This course takes approximately 6-8 months, so is an achievable goal for the year ahead.
However, if you are looking to complete a qualification that will take longer than a year, such as the SQE, your larger goals may need to be more specific than finishing the entire qualification, as this would not be achievable. Instead, your larger goals could be something like completing and passing assessments for a specified number of modules, improving your mock exam results to a higher grade by the end of the year, or gaining the qualifying work experience (QWE) that is a requirement of the qualification.
These larger goals should be at the heart of your career progression for the year, and will help you to achieve success.
You should set yourself small goals throughout the year. These milestones help steer you on your path towards achieving the larger goals and career success.
Possible goals could include developing your knowledge of a particular area of law, working closely with your tutors, reading specific legal texts, or setting specific study goals for each month.
If you are unsure which path is right for you and your 2023 career goals, our Student Services Team will be happy to help. You can contact them by emailing [email protected].