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Ways in

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Ways in to legal jobs...


  • Although bailiffs do not need any formal entry qualifications to train, employers may require a minimum of five GCSEs (A*-C), including English and maths or equivalent qualifications.
  • Applicants need to show that they do not have a debt or criminal record. County Court Judgment (CCJ) and Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) checks are carried out. A certificated bailiff needs a Bailiff's General Certificate. Applications have to be made through the county courts. A full driving licence is usually essential.
  • To become a certificated bailiff a Bailiff's General Certificate is needed. For this baliffs need to provide two references and put up a security bond of £10,000 as well as prove to a county court judge that they are a fit and proper person, without a criminal or debt record, and possess sufficient knowledge of the law.


  • Before entering training Barristers need an approved law degree, or a non-approved degree followed by a postgraduate conversion course.
  • Entry to degree courses is usually with at least two A levels and five GCSEs (A*-C). Other qualifications may be accepted for degree entry, either on their own or in combination with A levels.
  • Training involves completing a Bar Vocational Course (BVC) followed by a year of pupillage, spent working and training with an experienced barrister. Trainees spend time shadowing and observing their pupil supervisor, gradually taking on cases as they gain experience.

 Court Administration officers

  • Need to have five GCSEs (A*-C), including English language, or an NVQ Level 2 in administration or equivalent qualifications. An increasing number of successful applicants have A levels or even higher qualifications.
  • Applicants must meet nationality requirements and undergo checks through the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB).
  • One possible alternative entry route is by promotion from administrative assistant in any Civil Service department. Candidates for administrative assistant posts must have two GCSEs (A*-C), including English language or equivalent, or suitable experience in an administrative role.

Legal Executives

  • There are no formal minimum academic requirements, but four GCSEs (A*-C) including English, or equivalent qualifications such as the City & Guilds (C&G)/ILEX Level 2 Award/Certificate/Diploma in legal studies, are often required by employers.
  • Many new entrants have more than the minimum recommended qualifications. Some have foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas/Certificates (HNDs/HNCs) or degrees. Exemptions from part of the ILEX examinations may be granted to candidates with an A level in law, a recognised law degree or other recognised legal qualification.
  • You may also be able to enter employment with a firm of solicitors through an Apprenticeship in business, administration and law.


  • No specific qualifications are required to become a paralegal. However, many employers, particularly law firms, will prefer applicants with some relevant qualifications  such as GCSEs (A*-C) or A levels in academic subjects, BTEC qualifications in law or legal studies an NVQ in business administration or a foundation degree in law or legal studies.
  • Some employers specify an HND or degree in law or legal studies or the postgraduate legal practice course (LPC).
  • Non-law organisations that employ paralegals in-house may take on unqualified staff and provide professional training. It may be possible to start in a clerical post in a legal office.


  • Solicitors must hold a qualifying law degree, or a degree in any subject plus a Graduate Diploma in law (GDL) or Common Professional Examination (CPE), or a Senior Status law degree or be a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives.
  • Candidates for degree courses in law normally require a minimum of two, but for these courses, more likely at least three A levels and five GCSEs (A*-C). Other qualifications may be accepted, such as a BTEC National Diploma, the International Baccalaureate or an Access to HE course. Entry qualifications vary considerably, and it is important to check requirements with each institution.
  • Training as a solicitor involves taking the Legal Practice Course (LPC) followed by a two-year training contract with a solicitor or in-house legal department.


Ways in to Political jobs...

  • Most political researchers have a degree. Some roles may require a good class of degree, eg 2:1 or above. The degree subject is less important than relevant work experience and commitment. However, degrees in politics, law, public relations or a related subject may improve work prospects.
  • A postgraduate qualification may also be useful. Some relevant courses are listed at
  • For a degree, entry requirements are normally a minimum of two A levels, plus five GCSEs (A*-C), or equivalent qualifications. Entry to postgraduate courses is usually with a first degree. Applicants for first degree and postgraduate courses should check with individual institutions for specific entry requirements.

Political/Constituency organisers

  • There are no specific entry qualifications, but most applicants have a degree. You need to do voluntary work for a part to show your commitment. Political parties also have national youth wings in which students and other young people can become actively involved.
  • For degree courses, applicants usually need a minimum of two A levels and five GCSEs (A*-C), including maths and English, or equivalent qualifications.


  • All election candidates must be over 18 years of age.
  • There are no minimum entry qualifications. Politicians require a strong commitment to a political party or ideal and experience of campaigning at a local level or volunteering to deliver party leaflets.
  • MPs are also required to be a British citizen, or a citizen of a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland.
  • MEPs can be citizens of any European state and councillors should satisfy either qualification and have been resident in the local area for at least 12 months. Certain people are legally barred from standing for election.


For more information about the courses on offer locally for 14-19 year olds why visit your local area prospectus? -

For courses in higher education check out the UCAS site

For Apprenticeships see the vacancies on the National Apprenticeship website

You can also ring the Barnsley Connexions Centre for information on local Apprenticeships on 01226 205686

Want to find out more about the range of employability skills asked for by employers?