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Law: the New Arts?

In Barristers, Career, law students, legal education, Solicitors, women on July 7, 2011 at 3:14 pm

A recent article in the Australian (here) noted that there are fewer law students taking jobs in firms and more law students taking jobs in industry and commerce. The article is titled ‘Fewer graduates choosing practice …’.

Is this trend really a matter of choice or a case of taking what is available? Certainly, the article refers to AAR development director Jane Lewis who noted that

‘Growth in law firm jobs had not kept pace with the sharp increase in graduate numbers … so it made sense that a greater proportion of law graduates were being employed in the corporate sector.’

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The article also refers to Will Irving from Testra who said they ’employed individuals with law degrees in every part of its business, from sales to internal audits’ and ponders whether students study law to get a job, much as arts degrees were taken in the 1950s.

It would be a shame to see the demise of Arts as a general degree that opens the way to variety of careers. Law is a long, expensive and specialised course of study to take, just to get a job.

Addendum: a warning about studying law for the ‘wrong’ reasons:

What do you think?

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  1. Hmm. Not sure if Law is taking the place of a liberal arts education or whether law students have come to realise that the practice of law is not for them. People tend to create a bit of a press kit around a law degree though. E.g. Claudia Schiffer, Gerard Butler etc.

  2. I think it’s not a bad thing that those trained in the rigour of law lend their skills other than in the practice of law

  3. Yes law can develop very useful skills. But so should a good old liberal arts education. Study law not necessarily to be a lawyer but at least be inspired by an interest in the law.

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