Alternative Careers for Lawyers

Journalism (General)

A broad head of course. National, local, trade periodicals, critic, specialist reporting, feature writing, editing, freelancing, legal reporting, broadcast journalism etc.

Journalism is a good fit for lawyers as both journalism and law require similar skills: the ability to analyse information quickly, write well (although as a journalist a different writing style may be called for), communicate perhaps to a non-specialist audience and, of course, work to a deadline.

Courses and qualifications are going to be important for a leg-up. Choice, of course, is also important, and a postgraduate qualification should be job-specific, as opposed to more general vocational courses provided by some universities for example. There are over 845 postgraduate media/publishing courses listed by the UK Postgraduate Application and Statistical Service, but only a few of these are accredited by the NCTJ or the BJTC (see below). The PTC website also lists accredited courses and offers a career guide. The NCTJ itself runs its own correspondence courses in magazine journalism.

Also and essentially, one should have a mind to building up a portfolio of published articles. Lawyers are well placed to do this in theory, where contributions to the press, legal press and client trade publications are seen as good marketing practice in any event. Magazine/periodical journalism is often less structured, takes more contributions from freelancers, and has a mutual attraction for law leavers and their specialist knowledge. If you know anyone in the trade, get them to ask you to write an article on a topic.

Also, see 'Arts & Media' and 'Journalism (Legal)'.

National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Training
The New Granary
Station Road
Newport
Saffron Walden
Essex
CB11 3PL

Tel: 01799 544014
Fax: 01799 544015
Email: info@nctj.com
Website: http://www.nctj.com

The Newspaper Society
Bloomsbury House
74-77 Great Russell Street
London
WC1B 3DA

Tel: 020 7636 7014
Website: http://www.newspapersoc.org.uk

Periodical Publishers Association
Queens House
28 Kingsway
London
WC2B 6JR

Tel: 020 7404 4166
Fax: 020 7404 4167

Periodicals Training Council (PTC)
Queens House
55-56 Lincoln's Inn Fields
London
WC2A 3LJ

Tel: 020 7404 4166
Fax: 020 7404 4167
Website: http://www.ppa.co.uk

Chartered Institute of Journalists
Suite 2, Dock Offices
Surrey Quays
Lower Road
London
SE16 2XL

 

Tel: 020 7252 1187
Fax: 020 7232 2302
Email: memberservices@cioj.co.uk
Website:  www.cioj.co.uk

Career Changer Profile(s)

Whilst every care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this information at the time of posting, the information is intended as guidance only. It should not be considered as professional or legal advice.