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Law Graduates in the Civil Service

by Minoas Vitalis
Reading Time: 5 minutes

You may be graduating soon or you probably just started your law undergraduate studies this past year. But whichever it is, you’re probably wondering the same thing: what are my career prospects as a law graduate in the UK civil service?

For starters, let’s dispel the myth that all law graduates work in private practice. In fact, many graduates choose to pursue careers in the public sector – and there are plenty of reasons why.

The civil service offers law graduates a unique opportunity to use their legal skills in a variety of different ways. You could be working on high-profile cases that have a real impact on society, or you could be using your legal knowledge to help shape government policy. And because the civil service is such a large and diverse organisation, there are opportunities to work in a wide range of different departments – from the Home Office to the Ministry of Defence.

There are also plenty of perks that come with working in the civil service, including a generous pension scheme, flexible working hours and a great work-life balance. And let’s not forget the most important perk of all: the feeling of satisfaction that comes from knowing you’re making a difference in society.

As a law graduate, you’ll have a lot of skills and knowledge that can be transferable into a career in the UK Civil Service. The civil service is committed to providing equal opportunities for all, so your application will be assessed on its own merits.

There are many ways to enter the civil service but in this article, we’ll focus on one of the most popular routes: The Civil Service Fast Stream. While it is true that the scheme has been paused for at least 2023, we want you to be ready when the time comes so you can excel. In our next articles, we will examine many of the other ways that exist if you want to get a job in the civil service.

What is the Civil Service Fast Stream?

The Fast Stream is a highly competitive graduate scheme that attracts the brightest and the best from a range of disciplines. There are 15 different schemes you can apply to, and successful applicants will spend up to four years working on a series of rotations in different departments. Several of those schemes also offer the possibility to study for professional qualifications. You do not need to have studied anything specific to apply for most schemes but that depends so you need to pay attention to the requirements before you submit your application.

The Fast Stream is designed to develop your leadership potential and help you progress to the most senior roles in the civil service. If you’re successful, it is a great opportunity to gain a broad range of experience and really get to know how the civil service works.

What are the benefits of the Fast Stream?

There are many benefits to applying for the Civil Service Fast Stream.  First of all, the Fast Stream offers a unique opportunity to gain experience in a variety of different departments and policy areas. You’ll get to work on challenging and interesting projects, and you’ll be able to develop your skills and knowledge at a faster pace than if you were working anywhere else.

Secondly, the Fast Stream offers a unique opportunity to work flexibly and there are generous pension and leave entitlements. And because the civil service is such a large organisation, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to progress your career. Finally, the civil service is dedicated to ensuring that its workforce is representative of society, so you’ll be working in an organisation that values diversity and inclusion.

So, if you’re a law graduate looking for an exciting and challenging alternative for your career, the civil service could be the perfect place for you.

So, if you’re still considering a career in the UK civil service, here are a few additional things you should know.

The civil service offers a unique opportunity to make a difference in society, and the Fast Stream is a great way to start your career. Just make sure you meet the requirements and you’ll be on your way to a fulfilling and rewarding career.The UK Civil Service is one of the largest employers in the country, with over 400,000 employees working in a wide range of roles across the country.

As a law graduate, you have a lot of skills and knowledge that can be transferable into a career in the civil service. The ability to research and analyse complex legal issues, as well as being able to communicate effectively, are just some of the skills that would be useful in a role in the civil service.

There are a number of different schemes you can apply for on the Fast Stream, so take some time to look at all of the options and find one that best suits your skills and interests. There are schemes for aspiring economists, human resources professionals, diplomats, and many other disciplines.

The application process for the Fast Stream is highly competitive, so make sure you put your best foot forward. Start by ensuring you meet all of the basic requirements, such as having a 2:1 degree or above for most schemes. You’ll also need to pass a number of online assessments, a video interview, and an assessment centre. Most schemes also require you to attend a Final Selection Board as a final stage in the selection process.

If you’re accepted onto the Fast Stream, you’ll start a thrilling but demanding journey. You’ll have the opportunity to enhance your abilities and knowledge at a faster rate than if you worked in any other sector. So, if you’re searching for a different than usual employment route, the Civil Service may be the best place for you.

If you are unsure about whether the Civil Service is right for you and are still an undergraduate, there are several ways to find out more. The best way is to consider applying for the Summer Diversity Internship Programme or the Early Diversity Internship Programme.  These programmes are designed to give undergraduates from a diverse range of backgrounds the opportunity to gain work experience in the civil service.

The UK Civil Service is an organisation that offers a great deal of variety, so there really is something  for everyone. Whether you want to work in a policy area that you’re passionate about, or you’re looking for an organisation that offers great progression opportunities, the civil service could be the perfect place for you. So, if you’re considering a career in the civil service, make sure you go for it – you definitely won’t regret it!


Minoas graduated with a Merit upon studying the full-time MPA Public Administration – International Development degree (MPA-ID) at the University of York. He is currently working as a freelance EU affairs consultant in Belgium.


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