Working in the legal sector with A levels (or similar)

Some employers take on trainees with A levels and preferably some relevant work experience.

With Level 3 qualifications and experience you can take on more specialised work within the legal profession such as legal executive or licensed conveyancer. Jobs at technician level include working directly with clients on legal matters. Further training and related qualifications can lead to progression into senior or complex roles. There are Level 3 advanced apprenticeships available in the legal profession.

Example jobs

Legal executive
Carrying out specialist legal work, for example the legal side of property deals or personal injury claims.

Police constable
Responsible for protecting the public, upholding the law, investigating crimes and supporting victims of crime.

Licensed conveyancer
Working for clients on the administration and legal aspects of buying or selling property or land.

Case study

At school I completed work experience at the local police station. After leaving school I then joined the Special Constabulary, which is voluntary and unpaid, fitting this work around my full-time job...

Neil Baskerville, criminal justice inspector at Cheshire Police

Approximate pay levels

Figures supplied as a guide only

Pay levels graph

Typical working conditions

  • Work will be based in an office or law court. It can be fast-paced and accuracy is important.
  • You will be working with the public.
  • Police officers work shifts and are based in the community, in police stations or out on roads or motorways.

Qualifications needed

For job roles such as paralegal and legal secretary, you will need relevant level 3 certificates and diplomas. For legal executives the minimum entry requirement for training is four GCSEs at grades A*–C, or equivalent, including English, but many entrants have higher-level qualifications. Apprenticeships at levels 2 and 3 are available. For police officer entry you need to pass an entrance test and be physically fit. Relevant experience, which can be voluntary work, is usually required.

Career path

You can progress from legal executive to leading a team of legal executives and secretaries, or you could become the practice manager in a law firm. With further study, you could qualify as a solicitor.

After gaining qualifications and experience, paralegals and legal executives can become self-employed and work on a freelance basis.

After two years’ experience, police constables can take the exam to become a sergeant.

Useful links

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Police Recruitment

The Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Skills for Justice