Multiple Career Paths with a UK Law Degree
University of Reading Malaysia, the international branch campus of University of Reading UK, will welcome the inaugural intake for its recently-launched LLB Law degree in September 2019. The degree is exactly the same as that awarded on the UK campus, which is already a well-recognised law degree in Malaysia.
One key advantage of studying Law at University of Reading Malaysia is the student learning experience which mirrors that same curriculum and innovative teaching approach used in the UK to provide the perfect balance of academic learning and practical legal skills.
Professor James Devenney, Head of the Reading Law School and Professor of Transnational Commercial Law, said “the University of Reading is known for producing law graduates who are well-rounded and highly-adaptable, and therefore able to rise quickly in their chosen legal or business career”.
The legal field offers numerous interesting career options with a varied range of skills and experience. The most obvious option is to develop a career in the legal profession to become a legal practitioner i.e. as an advocate and solicitor. Before being able to practice law, graduates are required to pass the Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) exam in Malaysia or the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) in the UK. In addition, law graduates are also required to complete a compulsory 9-month period of practical training referred to as ‘chambering’ or pupillage under the supervision of a senior lawyer.
Having completed chambering and qualified as a lawyer, one can opt to work for a law firm as an advocate and solicitor. As with doctors, advocates and solicitors can choose to be generalists or specialise in a particular aspect of law such as family law, commercial law, intellectual property or other areas. In terms of career development, advocates and solicitors can rise steadily through the ranks to become a partner in a law firm or, if they so wish, venture out to set up their own firm.
However, a law degree does not only open a gateway to a career as an advocate and solicitor but also to options beyond the legal profession. Law graduates do not need to work specifically for a law firm or become a practicing lawyer. Many choose to join the private sector as a corporate lawyer or legal counsel where they advise companies on legal matters. In some cases, they may acquire industry-specific legal skills and knowledge. For example, those joining the finance and banking sector may develop specialist expertise in trust, securities, financial services, capital markets, tax and banking law. Another interesting line of work is in arbitration and mediation, which requires excellent communication, critical thinking and negotiation skills. Law graduates can also work in the public sector by joining the judicial services or civil services where they advise and help develop public policies. Alternatively, the legal qualification allows its graduates to pursue careers as an academic while getting involved in teaching and research or joining Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Associate Professor Anne Chrishanthani Vergis, Head at the School of Law, University Reading Malaysia emphasised “that the Reading Law programme places great importance on work experience, aiming to develop the students’ skills and experience to help them graduate with the best possible prospects”.
Students at University of Reading Malaysia will get to examine and discuss real-world cases and scenarios, and take part in client interviewing, negotiation and mooting competitions. Law students will also benefit from University of Reading Malaysia’s modern, state-of-the-art campus with a moot court and legal clinic.