Feel like the Bachelor of Laws is calling your name? Maybe you’ve been spending your time tossing up the potential unis that offer the course. It’s likely that you’ve also caught yourself asking: So, what comes next? What kind of jobs can you end up in as a law graduate?
If this is the case, you’ve come to the perfect place. Below, we’ve listed 20 career opportunities that you could pursue with a Bachelor of Laws.
All that’s stopping you from checking out this sweet, sweet list of law jobs is a scroll. Let’s go!
What is a Bachelor of Laws?
A Bachelor of Laws is a program offered at just about every university to set you on a path to becoming a fully fledged lawyer. It’s a course that covers everything there is to know about the modern legal environment and will give you a chance to analyse individual cases, policies, criminality, punishment and society as a whole through an advanced legal framework.
Think HSC Legal Studies but intensified, by like, a lot.
Studying law comes with a lot of street cred. You’ve got traditions to sustain and stereotypes to uphold! As a law student, you are legally obliged to get into Harvard, wear a pink tracksuit, live in the library and look good while doing it… Or maybe I’ve just watched too much Legally Blonde. Okay, so maybe it’s not quite like that — you don’t have to wear pink tracksuits.
Either way a Bachelor of Laws is a popular degree that comes with plenty of prestige, but it’s also a competitive program that requires a lot of work. There’s a lot of content, a lot to learn and a lot to do.
But, rest assured, something we can be sure of is that there’ll be a world of opportunities once you graduate. In fact, we know of a good 20 career options where you’ll be able to utilise your law degree like no other, whether that’s within the legal field or beyond.
Some of the universities that offer some great Bachelor of Laws programs include:
So, what’s next? We hear you ask. Worry no more, fair reader. We shall get to that right… now!
As you can see, the majority of the law graduate jobs that we have included fit nicely underneath the one and only, ‘legal system’ category. This is so you can use your degree to its full potential. I mean by then you will have spent 4 years of your life slaving away to get your head around laws, how they work and why they’re there, so you may as well put this knowledge to use.
But it’s not the end of the world if you’ve realised that law just isn’t your thing! That’s why we’ve also included plenty of career opportunities that go beyond the legal sector. There’s something for everyone.
Let’s get to the basics first. The term ‘lawyer’ is an umbrella term that comprises all legal professionals. So, if you’re hoping to graduate, take the appropriate steps and become a lawyer, you’ll either be stationed as a barrister or a solicitor.
A barrister is the legal professional that spends their days representing their clients in the courtroom. So, if you’re wanting to become a barrister, you can expect to act on behalf of another person during a significant case in front of a judge and jury. You’ll be mainly on call for serious criminal offences and would help your client decide whether to plead guilty or not guilty.
On to the next! The other major name for a legal professional is a solicitor. These guys will get involved in the management and administration of a particular case.
So they’re the ones that work mainly behind the scenes and will be involved in the initial legal appointment. A solicitor will provide advice, consider and write up the technical documents that a particular case will require, usually in the comfort of their own office or firm as opposed to the actual courtroom.
According to JobOutlook, the average weekly pay of a solicitor, with a very strong future growth estimate and a weekly pay of $1,646.
While both a judge and a magistrate represent the Crown in legal matters, they differ from one another in their roles, responsibilities and functions.
A judge is responsible for understanding, analysing and deciding cases by applying the law. Judges have quite a lot more authority compared to magistrates and will generally hear larger and more complex cases.
As a judge, you can expect to spend your days hearing cases and deciding on appropriate judgments. They may work with a jury to decide whether someone is guilty or innocent fo a crime. A judge’s decision will also preside over appeals from lower courts.
According to JobOutlook, judges and other legal professionals can expect a weekly pay of $1,978 with a moderate future growth expected over the next 5 years.
Likewise, a magistrate’s main role is using the law to decide whether someone is guilty or innocent of a crime. A magistrate differs from a judge in that they will be overseeing many more cases, on a smaller scale in smaller courts.
As with judges, JobOutlook tells us that a magistrate can expect a weekly pay of $1,978 and a moderate future growth expectancy.
If you’re a true crime or whodunit fanatic, you may have your eyes set on a career as a detective. While it’s probably a little less glamorised and a little more intense in real life, as a law graduate, the option is totally there!
A detective will generally spend their time investigating serious crimes like homicide, terrorism, armed robbery and arson. So, it’s not for the lighthearted.
You’ll be in charge of gathering evidence to arrest and prosecute possible offenders. As a detective, you’ll basically be the precursor to a court case. You’re finding the offenders that will be scrutinised in a court of law.
As a law graduate, you will be great for this job since you’ve developed an extensive understanding of proper punishment, the legal system and the weight of particular crimes. The critical thinking and decisiveness that you’ve been developing will also come in handy.
Women only account for 25% of the detective workforce, so if you’re a woman and wanting to join, do it! They need you!
JobOutlook tells us that the high skill profession is expected to show strong future growth over the next 5 years and provides a weekly pay of about $2,036. Although you will need to undergo extra tests and procedures after you graduate to become a detective.
#6: Policy Analyst
A job as a policy analyst is a perfect path for law graduates who’ve come out of their degree keen on the technical side of legislation, policy and the social sciences.
As a policy analyst, you’ll be developing and evaluating policies that guide government and commercial operations. You’ll be hired by a particular government department, business or entity to plan and enhance their policies. So, you’ll be involved in the research that responds to public issues and advocates on behalf of society to ensure positive policy outcomes.
Some of the tasks you can expect to undergo as a policy analyst include liaising with program administrators, reviewing existing legislation to renew out of date provisions, researching social and economic trends, formulating new policies and assessing the impacts of current policies.
Policy Analysts are paid approximately $1,821 a week and according to JobOutlook, the profession can expect to see strong future growth over the next 5 years.
A coroner is another profession that we see on our true crime documentaries and murder mysteries all the time. They’re the ones that request or conduct an investigation into the cause of someone’s death. They are also usually the ones that confirm the identity of a deceased person.
A coroner is usually only called upon when a death seems suspicious, although we generally think that any death that occurs outside a hospital is potentially suspicious. So, as a coroner you’ll never be out of work since, as morbid as it sounds, death is a regular occurrence.
#8: Probation Officer
While this is a job that works within the prison and punishment side of law, as a law graduate, your degree will still be extremely useful. You’ll be able to see first hand how the law is applied and to what extent.
A probation officer will become involved once an offender is released. You’ll be the one to conduct a background check, assess the offence and evaluate the appropriate next steps. Essentially, you’ll supervise someone once they’re released from prison to reduce the risk of recidivism and hopefully ensure positive change.
Some of the tasks you may undergo as a probation officer include counselling and intervention, communicate with other legal professionals, conduct risk assessments, supervise offenders who are sentenced to community service, monitor at home detention and conduct regular check ins.
#9: Corporate Lawyer
As we move into the corporate sector, we thought we’d make a special place on the list for lawyers that specialise in the corporate world. It’s easy to think of a lawyer and automatically envision someone defending someone for an intense physical crime like murder, arson or armed robberies.
Corporate lawyers are a little different and have therefore won themselves their own spot on the top 20 list. This is another pretty direct avenue for law graduates but we thought we’d mention it anyway.
A corporate lawyer will advise businesses on their legal obligations, rights, responsibilities. They’ll guide businesses in making transactions like reviewing contracts, negotiating, drafting and all other agreements that involve the functions of a business.
You might evaluate and advise a business’ activities like mergers, acquisitions or divestitures. So, you’ll be utilising your solid understanding of legislation to supervise the corporate decisions of businesses.
As we’ve mentioned, JobOutlook tells us that legal professionals can expect an average weekly pay of $1,978.
#10: Human Resources
This is a pretty broad one but as a graduate with a firm grasp on law, a shift into the Human Resources side of things may be a great next step. Especially if you’re someone with great interpersonal and communication skills who loves fostering relationships with clients, Human Resources could be great.
Some examples of specific jobs in the human resources world include:
- Human Resources Manager
- Employment Specialist
- Employee Relations Manager
- Labour Relations Specialist
- Director of Employee Experience
These positions are great for someone well versed in labour laws, employment policies and corporate legislation.
According to JobOutlook, Human Resource managers will get paid, on average, $2,464 a week and the position is expected to show very strong future growth over the next 5 years.
While consultancy is essentially everywhere, having a grasp of laws and legislation will put you way ahead of the curve. A consultant will essentially provide you with advice and weigh up your options when it comes to making individual, corporate or financial decisions.
As a consultant, you’ll be advising someone on the best next steps for their own goals, their business’ goals or their financial goals. It’s easy to see why someone who has their head around laws will get far in this position.
#12: Australian Federal Police (AFP)
Hence its title, the AFP is the federal police force responsible for enforcing Commonwealth criminal law and preventing transnational crime that may impact Australia’s national security. Since being a member of the AFP is all about evaluating and applying national law, having graduated with a Bachelor of Laws will be perfect for the job.
You’ll be able to utilise your understanding of crime, legislation and punishment to recognise and prevent threats to Australia’s safety.
If becoming a police officer sounds like the right next step for you, you could consider working for the federal police or work as an officer for your local community or state.
No matter where you’re positioned, JobOutlook explains that police can expect about $2,036 a week.
#13: Attorney-General’s Department
Again, this is a pretty broad one. The Attorney-General’s Department is an Australian Government branch that is divided into 5 particular groups:
- Australian Government Solicitor
- Legal Services and Families
- Integrity and International
- Industrial Relations
- Enabling Services
All the groups function to ensure safety and security for Australians. If you’re wanting a prestigious career within the Australian Government, having a law degree will be fundamental to your role.
Your usual tasks may involve delivering programs to maintain Australia’s laws, provide advanced legal services for the government and develop national policies. No matter which area of law you’re most interested in, you have the opportunity to specialise in the Attorney-General’s Department. The kinds of policies and programs that are in place include:
- Civil Justice
- Family Law and Legal Assistance
- Criminal Justice
- International Law
- Native Title
- Workplace Relations
- Work Health and Safety
- Royal Commissions
- Corporate Services
So, no matter where you specialise as a Bachelor of Laws graduate, a job within the Attorney-General’s Department could be perfect.
You can take a deeper look at what it’s like to work in the Government Department here.
A similarity that a lot of politicians share nowadays is a Bachelor of Laws degree. Which makes sense since they’re governing Australians with direct reference to the current legal framework.
If you’re a law student who’s developed great debating skills, interest in advocacy and an understanding of Australia’s political system — you’re halfway there!
#15: Media Lawyer
We decided to include one more specialist lawyer just to show you the wide scope of places you can take your law degree to make direct use out of it.
A media lawyer will be responsible for any legal issue under the media sun. So, whether that’s music, sport, advertising, cinema, film, the internet in general or film — a media lawyer has got you covered.
In fact, high profile celebrities will use media lawyers all the time to resolve issues. If pop culture, advertising or sport is your thing, perhaps becoming a media lawyer would be perfect.
Like the other positions for legal professionals, a media lawyer’s weekly wage will generally be about $1,978.
A decent portion of law graduates will move into jobs within journalism to report on legal cases or general legal issues. It’s a great option if throughout your Bachelor of Laws program you’ve found yourself enjoying the writing side of things.
You’ll be able to write educated articles about any kind of legal case, whether that’s for lifestyle magazines or hard news sites.
Your attention to detail, accuracy, objectivity and understanding of Australia’s legal system will help produce many fascinating and intriguing articles.
While journalism’s future growth over the next few years is stable, JobOutlook tells us that your weekly pay will be about $1,576.
If you’ve spent your Bachelor of Laws program enjoying the research, lessons from your tutors and the institution in general, maybe sticking to academia is the path for you!
We can’t give you too much info on this one because it will be entirely dependent on what you choose to specialise in and study. Maybe you’d like to focus purely on research or maybe you’d like to add some teaching into the mix, the choice is up to you!
According to JobOutlook, education advisers can expect a very strong growth over the next 5 years and have a weekly pay of about $2,020.
#18: Social Worker
Social work would be perfect for a law graduate with advanced interpersonal skills, empathy and tough skin. If you see yourself wanting to use your law degree to help others and make a difference, becoming a social worker could be a great option.
You’ll be spending your days protecting vulnerable families and children in need. You’ll be supporting people in their everyday life to ensure they’re safe and cared for. You will likely also be diagnosing and treating emotional, mental and behavioural issues.
While you will need to complete extra study to become a social worker (or study a double degree with law), it would be a great job for budding lawyers to want to help those who are disadvantaged in the system.
The social work industry is expected to see very strong future growth over the next 5 years and a social worker’s weekly pay will be approximately $1,829 a week according to JobOutlook.
#19: Legal Aid
Like those keen on social work, if you’re law graduate who’s passionate about human rights and social justice and want to use your law degree to help disadvantaged individuals and communities, finding a job as a lawyer in advocacy groups or NGOs could be something to look into.
Legal Aid provides free and accessible services for Australians in need of legal assistance and wouldn’t have access to it otherwise. Legal cases are extremely expensive and if you’re unfairly represented in court or live a disadvantaged life, it can be impossible to afford.
To work for Legal Aid, you’ll need to be a qualified lawyer ready to help out. It would be an extremely gratifying position and would help so many people in need.
#20: Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch
Other NGOs like Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch are also some great places to take the skills that you’ve learned in your law degree.
These groups are always going to need lawyers and legal professionals and you can be sure that you’ll leave your mark with a career with Amnesty or Human Rights Watch.
There you have it! Our top 20 list for the jobs you can look forward to once you graduate from a Bachelor of Laws. We hope this list is helpful and you’ve found a new career that you hadn’t thought of before. Good luck out there!
Gemma Billington is a Content Writer at Art of Smart and an undergraduate student at the University of Technology Sydney. While studying Journalism and Social and Political Sciences, Gemma enjoys spending her time at the gym or reading about Britain’s medieval monarchy – ideally not at the same time. She currently creates and administers social media posts for Central News and writes for the student publication, The Comma. After completing her undergraduate degree, she hopes to study a Masters of Medieval History and is very excited about the prospect!