What can you do with a law degree?

What can you do with a law degree

What can you do with a law degree?

Law studies offer many opportunities on condition that you quickly forge your professional project: jobs in the justice system, the police, the penitentiary system, careers as company lawyers, or public administration. The choice is vast, but access to each of these professions requires a specific path and a lot of motivation.

“You don’t know what to do? Take a law degree; it’s always useful” … Many students thus commit each year in the first year of law (L1) on this vague advice. However, “to succeed, you need a lot of work and motivation,” says Céline Combette, lecturer at Paris 2 Assas. In other words, quickly have a goal or even a passion for facing long and difficult studies.

Of course, you may not see yourself as a judge or a lawyer. Still, there are a host of other predominantly legal professions that you may not have thought of: auctioneer, prison counselor in integration and probation, tax specialist, real estate administrator, hospital director, regional administrator, company lawyer … Very distinct professions that can allow you to work in a court, but also a private practice, a prison, a police station, a large company, the administration of a town hall or a department.

To help you find your way around, we have grouped the openings into three categories: jobs injustice and the police, public administration, and the business. And to help you, a subsidiary question: which master to choose?

1. The professions of justice and the police

You are attracted to the world of the Court, you have always dreamed of being a lawyer, or you are passionate about detective series …

Law studies are ideal, but be aware that most legal professions require you to pursue long studies beyond the license: you must reach the master’s level (bac + 5) then generally pass a competitive examination, sometimes very selective.

– lawyer: to enter training, you must pass the entrance exam in one of the 11 regional professional training centers for lawyers (CFPA) or “bar schools.” You can take it from M1, the first year of a validated master’s degree, but in fact, those admitted often have a master’s 2 (M2) or more. 40% success. You can prepare for the exam in an “institute of judicial studies” (IEJ), a kind of public university preparation that must follow in parallel with the master’s.

The training lasts 18 months, including six months of internship, and ends with the Certificate of aptitude for the legal profession (Capa). This course covers, in fact, a multitude of specializations (business law, criminal law, social law) because it can bring the lawyer to defend individuals, companies, employees. The specialty of master prepares this orientation.

Magistrate: All judge positions require training at the National School of Magistrates (ENM). Access by very selective competitive examination (8-10% admitted) from M1 level or a diploma from an Institute of Political Studies (IEP); 31-month training alternating theory and practice. You then choose your future assignment from a list of vacancies based on your exit ranking. Examining magistrate, magistrate, deputy prosecutor, etc … Attention: you must be very mobile because you can be appointed throughout the territory, and a judge does not stay at the same Court all his life.

What can you do with a law degree?

– Head of penitentiary establishment: Here again, you have to pass a theoretically open competitive examination at the bachelor’s level, but it requires a master’s degree to enter the National School of Prison Administration (Enap) in Agen. The training lasts two years.

– Police Commissioner: the competitive examination for the National School of Police (ENSP) is open to holders of a bac + 5, and a master’s degree in law is ideal … The training then lasts 18 months, and a final ranking of the choice of position is conditional. In the National Gendarmerie, one can also pass at the same level the competition for investigating gendarme to go to the School for officers of the Gendarmerie in Melun. Two years of training.

– Notary: this public officer is appointed by the Ministry of Justice. He is the guarantor of contracts in family or real estate matters. You can do the long training after a professional master’s degree in notarial law: it is necessary to do a two-year internship in a notarial office to obtain the higher diploma of the notarial profession and submit his application for an appointment the ministry. Or, after a validated M1 in law (preferably notarial), you can try the entrance examination in a professional notarial training center (CFPN), which delivers a diploma of aptitude for the functions of a notary in one year. You then have to do a two-year internship in a notarial office.

What can you do with a law degree

Bailiff: He takes the summons to Court, ensures the recovery of debts, establishes repayment plans, proceeds to foreclosures, establishes disputes that the courts can use. He was training open to graduates of an M1 in law (preferably in private law with specialization in civil procedure and enforcement). It is necessary to do two years of internship in a study of bailiff and follow in parallel a training before examining aptitude for the functions of judicial officer (25% of success). Then the bailiff must buy his office before being appointed by the ministry.

Opportunities injustice from the license?

A few of them, but some competitions and trades are accessible from the bac + 2/3 level. Note, however, that those admitted often have a level higher than the minimum required:

Access to bac + 2 in law:

– Youth legal protection educator. The training takes place in Roubaix in two years.

– Court clerk: the clerk is the linchpin of the courts; he attends the hearings and makes the reports, draws up the files, contacts the parties. Paid training in 18 months at the National School of Grafts in Dijon. Graduates choose their assignment from a list of vacant positions based on their exit rank.

– Prison counselor for integration and probation: a job in the prison administration that is little known with a social dimension. Access is by competitive examination; training lasts one year at the National School of Prison Administration in Agen.

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Access to bac + 3:

Associate of a notary: he must obtain the Institute of Notarial Trades (IMN) diploma issued by 18 institutes. The holder of a license enters directly in the 4th year of the IMN to be trained in one year. Please note: access is reserved primarily for professional licenses for the notarial profession, but graduates with a law degree may apply under certain conditions (in particular, having completed an internship in a notarial office).

– police lieutenant: The competition allows entry to the National School of Police Officers (Ensop); the excellent physical condition is required. Training of 18 months, the students deemed suitable is appointed police lieutenant and assigned according to their classification. They must commit to serving the state for five years.

– auctioneer: you must have a double license in law and art history, then pass an exam: those admitted have to access the compulsory two-year internship in sales companies and offices. You can work in the private sector or be a judicial auctioneer to conduct public sales of objects seized by court decisions.

Access to bac + 4:

– Clerc expert: it is the right hand of the judicial officer. Two-year training at the National School of Procedure (ENP), 25 centers in France.

2. Jobs in public administration

Townhall, department, hospitals, customs … the various public services of the State (and not only the legal services) recruit civil servants by competitive examination. Civil servants in category A (responsibility and highest salaries), B, or C make a distinction between civil servants. 

A law degree gives you access to a certain number of these competitions for categories A and B. Those admitted then have access to a specialized school as an often paid “civil servant pupil.” The school ends with an internship and then with almost “automatic” access to a position (depending on the positions available). Since the number of places in the competition often corresponds to vacant positions. However, you have to register on an aptitude list for the territorial public service and find your post.

– the competition of territorial attaché ( territorial civil service, cat. A): accessible with a bac + 3. The attaché first chooses between five major administration areas (animation, health and social, IT, town planning, or general administration. He joins a team that he can sometimes lead and has an administrative and management role like in a company. Still, for public service: he can be secretary of the town hall, in charge of human resources, communication, social benefits of a community.

What can you do with a law degree?

– the competition of territorial administrators (territorial civil service, cat. A) is also accessible at the bachelor’s level, but in fact, those admitted have a master’s or an IEP diploma. He occupies the highest position in the local administrative hierarchy. He can lead economic development, run a large legal department, supervise professional training, etc.

– the competition for public finance controllers (state civil service, ca. B) is theoretically accessible from the baccalaureate, but in fact, those admitted often have a license. It involves working in a personal or corporate tax department to analyze accounting documents. Better to like the regulations and the numbers.

– competitive examinations for work supervisor (access to bac + 2, cat. B) or labor inspector (bac + 3, cat. A). An official of the Ministry of Labor, he informs employers and employees about labor law and intervenes with companies to carry out checks. It is a profession of contact and the field.

– the competitive examination for foreign affairs advisor (State civil service, cat. A) leads to “diplomat” positions, that is to say, civil servant within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Graduates of masters, IEPs, and mastery of several languages ​​help to succeed.

– the competition for hospital director ( hospital public service, cat. B) leads to posts of director or deputy director in a hospital, which consists of managing the structure, a bit like an owner of an SME. You have to be a good manager, a good manager, and have a sense of public service!

What can you do with a law degree?

Other competitions: the famous National School of Administration or ENA (cat. A), director of a health, social and medico-social establishment (cat. A), careers at the National School of Social Security (cat. A), inspector (cat. A) or fraud controller (cat. B), inspector (cat. A) or customs controller (cat. B), inspector of public finances (cat. A), secretary of foreign affairs (cat. A) … on careers on the websites of the ministries concerned.

Necessary: the background of law studies does not fully cover the program of competitions, hence the need to follow a preparation within a specialized body such as Ipad (competition category A), Copag (A and B), or regional institutes of administration (IRA). Access is selective; preparation lasts one year.

3. The company’s trades

In a world where the law and regulations are becoming more complex, companies are employing more and more lawyers. For positions requiring particular skills, opportunities are mainly to be sought in large companies (multinationals, banks, insurance companies, industrial groups, real estate groups). For example, contract law, social law, tax law, real estate law, environmental law, insurance law, contract law, and litigation are at the top of the sought-after specialties.

Recruitment is generally done at bac + 5 levels, and the master’s specialties and the internships carried out are closely scrutinized. It means that you have to prepare for your professional integration by choosing as early as possible the orientations inconsistent with your project and your tastes. In some specialties, having a double degree is a “plus.” Ingrid thus holds a master’s degree in contract law (business law option) in Bordeaux and a Master of Laws. of international law obtained in Quebec. 

She is now a company lawyer specializing in contract law within an EADS subsidiary. Her role is to finalize contracts with international partners from A to Z; considering all the technical constraints and the rule of partner countries. she must travel a lot and know which law to apply to a contract.

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What can you do with a law degree

Eleven universities are also preparing for a “business legal consultant diploma” (DJCE) which trains general business lawyers highly appreciated by businesses. You can drill in parallel to a master’s degree in business law.

But you may also want to escape the law and open up other careers in business. With your law degree, you can join a business school through parallel admissions (for example, the Passerelle competition or the procedures specials provided by huge schools such as EM Lyon or Essec).

Another wise choice: take the entrance exams to the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) to prepare for your master’s degree and obtain a recognized diploma, particularly that of IEP Paris. Be aware, however, that here too, you will have to choose a path between international, law, public affairs, journalism, or the business world.

Which master to choose?

There are thousands of titles of Master 1. Even more Masters 2, and the choice is all the more delicate as this title is based on the specialty of teaching and not on the careers it can open. Therefore, it is up to you to explore both the content of the master’s degree to see if it corresponds to your areas of interest and its real outlets.

A few points of reference:

– jurists distinguish three prominent families of masters focused on the significant fields of law: masters in private law, public law, and international law. Private law brings together the broadest offering with “flagship” specialties such as business law or tax law, but also social law or criminology … A future lawyer or notary will often privilege private law.

Public law, which is more focused, concerns more the management and life of public services and communities and may prepare for careers in the administration. International law deals with European law or international trade law. You can exploit it in the private sector (multinational companies) and public (outlets in international organizations, foreign affairs, European Union competitions, etc.)

From the license, you often choose between a course in private law and one in public law, but bridges are still possible to change to master1.

What can you do with a law degree?

As in all disciplines, we also distinguish professional masters (which typically prepare for working life) and research masters, which allow us to pursue a doctorate and prepare for teaching careers. But the borders are not so tight, and we can more and more integrate with a research master or continue studies after a professional master.

– Entry into the first year of the master’s (M1) is without selection (provided you have obtained your license) if you stay at the same university. If you change university, it will examine your file, and admission will be subject to the availability of places.

On the other hand, entry into the second year of the master’s (M2) is selective and sometimes very selective. Your academic record, the chosen specialties, internships, international exchanges are considered, and sometimes a motivational interview is taken into account.

– It must therefore be cross several elements to make your choice: the taste for a field of law, but also the option of a profession or a career or also, sometimes, a particular center of interest. Thus Jean was interested in debates on copyright which led him to choose a master’s degree in intellectual property law. He quickly became part of a major publisher and then a cultural company.

What can you do with a law degree?

What can you do with a law degree?

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