What is the Legal Industry?
The legal industry is tasked with upholding the rule of law as it applies to everyone in the country. This includes protecting the rights of individuals, businesses and corporations alike; providing a guide for transactions and behaviour, as well as prosecuting those who break the law and ensuring that justice is served.
The field of law can be divided into sub-categories per their speciality, which include the following:
- Civil law
- Criminal law
- Corporate law
- Patent law
- Environmental law
- Human rights law
- Tax law
- Labour law
Roles within the industry vary widely, from barristers, solicitors and judges through to legal secretaries and administrators, so whether you want to be dealing directly with the public or play a more ‘behind–the-scenes’ role you’re sure to find a successful career based on your interests.
Legal Services in Australia
Australia’s legal services industry is large and influential, as not only does it include approximately 20,000 businesses and over 100,000 legal professionals, but it contributes more than $23 billion towards the national economy each year.
While legal services positions can be found all over the country, 35.6% of jobs are in Victoria, followed by 24.2% in New South Wales. Rates of pay vary based on your role and level of experience, however, legal secretaries earn an average of $64,812 and Lawyers bring home approximately $104,000 every year.
A typical day for a legal professional is spent either working in a courthouse or conducting research and preparing paperwork in an office setting. An average work week for a court clerk or legal secretary is around 34.6 hours long, while lawyers put in an average of 45.1 hours each week.
Law Courses Available
There’s a lot you need to know before entering the legal industry, which is why quality education is required for the clear majority of roles.
Certificate courses are a great choice for those interested in entry-level roles, such as assistant paralegal, legal support officer or legal secretary. Certificates in law can provide you with basic legal principles and administrative practices as well as how to apply them in a wide variety of scenarios. Covering areas including legal research, producing documents and the ability to apply legal principles to different situations are all common in a Certificate in Legal Services, or any certificate law courses for that matter.
Diploma qualifications go into considerably greater depth and combine a thorough examination of legal theory with practical skills, such as research, writing and communication. You can also choose to focus your law studies on specific areas of interest such as criminology or restorative justice.
If you’ve got your heart set on a career as a solicitor, barrister or other high-level legal roles you’ll be well served by a bachelor degree. A Bachelor of Law, for example, covers everything from legal principles, practices and ethics through to evidence management systems and you will have the opportunity to put those skills into practice through work placement programs. It’s very important to mention that to work as a Lawyer in Australia you’ll need at least a bachelor degree as well as a practising certificate – this requires passing an exam set by the Australian Bar Association.
With so many different study options to choose from and many methods of delivery, qualifications in law have never been more accessible. From law courses online to in-class, and with so many providers to choose from, there’s something to suit everyone.
The Future of Legal Services
While the legal services industry is set to become increasingly high-tech in the coming years, skilled and knowledgeable graduates can expect to find plenty of opportunities. According to Australian Government data, there will be as many as 13,000 legal secretaries and law clerks working across the country by 2020, along with as many as 79,000 lawyers.
Is a Career in the Legal Industry Right for You?
Legal careers are among the most widely respected in the country; however, this challenging field certainly isn’t for everyone. You need to be extremely organised, have an eye for detail and possess exceptional written and verbal communication skills. With tight deadlines a constant factor in all aspects of the legal industry, you’ll also need to be someone who can work well under pressure.
Think you can handle a career in Australia’s legal industry? Check out the wide range of courses legal courses on offer. Enquire now, and take the next step in your professional development today!