Advice on charity legal jobs


Hi everyone,

This is a bit of a random request, but I am writing a novel in which my heroine is a law graduate (LLB). I am a graduate in a different subject area altogether, so would be really grateful for any advice and/or ideas from people studying law or aspiring to a career in law.

In brief, the heroine is strongly motivated to help others and fight for the ‘underdogs’ of this life. She spent her work experience shadowing a solicitor working within a housing charity and was bowled over by the work, managing cases of people who had become homeless and vulnerable, perhaps recently released from prison, etc. (This part is still just an idea too)

However, she goes on to graduate in law but several years later has still not made it into a law career due to various life issues. Firstly she was unable to study for the GDL (Graduate Law Diploma) which she knows she needs if she’s going to go anywhere in law. Secondly, for various reasons she had to stay within a certain area to work, meaning her choice of jobs is limited, and she ends up settling for something close to, but not quite, in line with her dreams. And this is where I get stuck!

I am thinking an administrative or support role within a legal team at a charity - so she consoles herself knowing the work she does indirectly contributes to the charity’s work, but still yearns to be more on the ‘coal face’ helping people directly.

Can anyone help with some more specifics, ie. what types of role like this exist and a brief summary of what kind of work it would involve?

Thanks so much!


A: What field did you graduate in?
B: I think you mean the Legal Practice Course (LPC) rather than the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)
C: Are you sure you want her to be a solicitor rather than a barrister?
D: When you say that she had to stay in a certain area of work what area do you mean?
E: If you need a role more administrative maybe paralegal or just something simpler like a receptionist
F: What various reasons (Besides the fact she hasn’t done the postgraduate qualification for law and so actually can’t qualify to become a solicitor/barrister) means that her choice of jobs are limited?
G: Would you like a list of what legal charities suit your heroine’s dreams of housing law?
H: Have you tried reading any other books on the topic beforehand? They may be able to help you on the specifics of the working culture within the legal profession
I: How do you want her to indirectly contribute to the charity’s work? Is she bringing clients in or solely doing administrative work for them.
J: In terms of work experience with the solicitor, the term you may be looking for is vacation or VAC scheme.