Elevating Your Career in the Legal Field
Here’s a hypothetical situation – you decide to pursue law and after four years, you’ve aced your final exams and graduated with a degree.
From this point, you could progress towards the Certificate in Legal Practice or the Bar Practice Course to become a full-fledged lawyer. The choice is entirely yours. However, you must realise that a law degree is the most versatile social science degree – you could do anything with it!
Let’s explore some options...
Advocate & Solicitor
As an advocate and solicitor, you can work at any law firm in the country, representing clients in court and partaking in litigation. As you climb the career ladder within the legal industry, you could become a partner at a firm or better yet, start your own legal practice!
You could consider pursuing a career within the Malaysian judiciary. Once you’ve had a few years of experience in legal practice, you can apply to become a judge, overseeing and deciding legal disputes and proceedings in courts.
In-House Legal Counsel
If litigation is not for you, there is always the option to move ‘in-house’. Large corporations such as public-listed companies, multinationals and pharmaceuticals have their own specific legal departments. As opposed to working for multiple clients, the corporation will be your only client. You work to ensure the best interests of your company are legally protected.
Instead of pursuing a career in legal practice, indulge your interests in the academics of law. You could pursue a Master’s programme and go on to become a legal researcher, writer, lecturer, tutor or academic head at a law school.
A law degree also allows you to take up employment in the public sector. Here, most law graduates opt to join the police force or the Legal Department of the Malaysian Government – The AG’s Chambers. You can even join the Legal Departments of other Government Offices or Ministries.
Graduates trained in law also have opportunities in management consultation roles. Management consultants help businesses run more effectively and efficiently. Law graduates are highly sought after for these roles, not only because of their knowledge of the corporate legal structure, but also because of their critical and analytical skills.
Intellectual Property (IP) Firms
Contrary to popular belief, one does NOT need to be a practicing lawyer to pursue a career in IP Law. IP firms provide consultancy on intellectual property-related matters. You can even apply to be a trademark or patent agent via their respective registrars. With these abilities, you create an avenue of side income, registering trademarks or patents for prospective clients.
You also have the option of joining the two main regulatory bodies in Malaysia – Bank Negara and Bursa Malaysia (Securities Commission). There are graduate trainee programs that can onboard you for a career in the regulatory field. Law graduates are always welcome to apply.
These career options are only the tip of the iceberg! The choices you have as a law graduate are somewhat endless. Public Prosecutor and Federal Counsel, Chartered Secretary, Politician… these are all viable career pathways for law graduates.
All you have to do is take that first step towards a legal degree and continuously upskill yourself to open the many doors of opportunities!