Pathways to the Professions
(Incorporating Reach: Edinburgh)
Career Exploration in Law
It’s important to really think about a profession before making the decision to progress towards it. Career
exploration is about getting to know a subject area better and fuelling your own interest through research and
experience. Signing up for Pathways to the Professions automatically guarantees you invitations to a range
of events designed to help you gain an insight into the profession. You also live in and around the city which
is home to the highest courts in Scotland. These alone give you a head start and lots of opportunities to
explore. Here are some other suggestions for career exploration:
Get to court
Free to visit and you can attend as a member of the public www.scotcourts.gov.uk
1. The High Court of Justiciary: Scotland’s supreme (highest) criminal court with jurisdiction over all crimes.
2. The Courts of Session: supreme civil court in Scotland. They hear cases on a wide range of civil matters.
3. The Sheriff Court: deals with less serious issues covering both civil & criminal matters.
Keep going: do not worry if you don’t understand what’s going on initially, the more you go the more
familiar procedures and the different personnel involved will become.
Ask questions: the security & administrative staff are friendly and can point you towards a particularly
Join or begin debating or public speaking society at your school.
Research university courses for Law. What do they offer? Which do you prefer? Going to Open Days
is vital so you can get a feel for a campus and have the chance to talk to staff.
Keep up to date with Scots Law www.lawscot.org.uk www.firmmagazine.com and
Volunteer at Citizens Advice Bureau or similar (age restrictions can apply)
Get work experience in a law firm/organisation
Search for solicitors/law firms in your postcode area: www.lawscot.org.uk
Write or email (rather than phone) law firms to request work
It might be better to request an afternoon or one day of work experience or shadowing, rather than a
whole week, as they are more likely to accommodate you for a shorter time
Try to get short visits in a few different places. That way you will get a much broader sense of the
various areas of law you can work in.
Some last points to remember:
1. You don’t need to do all of the above, just as much as you can!
2. A genuine passion and clear understanding of law as a subject and profession will serve you well.
Really think about why you want to apply.
3. Keep a note of any career exploration or work experience. You can use this information in your UCAS
personal statement but remember to be specific.