Currently debating whether to move into Employment Law as an expert field - advice would be appreciated!

Hello everyone,

I am after some advice and opinions on the above matter.

I have spent the last 5 years working my way up the ladder from HR administration and I am fortunate enough to now be a Senior HR Manager for a start-up technology firm. I have held this role for just over 1 year now and whilst I still have more years to come, I am always fascinated by Employment Law.

My question is what are the options to move from an HR Manager role to one of an Employment Lawyer? Do I need to go back to university to study, could I do a CIPD course instead and what tends to be the level of entry? 

I absolutely love my role at present but I am just trying to assess long-term what my main interests are and the routes to pursue.

  • Hi Rebecca

    Unless you particularly want to get admitted as a professional solicitor or barrister then becoming an employment law specialist is likely to be easier than going back almost to square one in order to meet the particular requirements of the legal professional bodies, which as far as I know (a) require far broader legal qualification and training than merely employment law and (b) don't have much if any recognition of CIPD qualifications.

    Many very big companies will have in house employment law advisers who needn't necessarily be fullblown lawyers as long as they have the necessary expertise and there are plenty of freelance self employed employment law specialists who aren't professional lawyers and one of these career directions might prove less onerous than 'the Law' as a new profession per se.
  • In reply to David:

    hi Rebecca
    You could do an LLM in employment law and with many years experience you might just be as knowledgeable and well qualified as David.

    Some of us know far more than most employment layers and have the advantage of being well qualified and experienced HR professionals.
  • In reply to David:

    Hi David, thank you for this useful information and it’s refreshing to know that you think I wouldn’t need to ‘start at the bottom’ typically.

    Long-term I think consultancy work is where I want to focus or an in-house employment advisor.

    That being said, there are so many different routes - the CIPD do a Level 7 Award in Employment Law (through ICS Learn) but again, would this be a suitable route? And I want to ensure that whatever/wherever I study has the most relevant, up to date legislation - I’ve read a few comments about universities providing some outdated lectures and this understandably is not what I want.
  • In reply to Peter Stanway:

    Hi David, I am assuming this is through a university? Understandably I know it would be more expensive to go back there rather than do a course via CIPD or another institution - but if I was to do the latter, would it still be credible - that’s what I’m trying to understand I guess.
  • In reply to Rebecca Read:

    I do not know what the current prices are for masters in Employment law but they an be done part-time/flexibly.
    Only a masters is really credible albeit as I teach level 7 employment law then it is pretty good
    Institutions vary. Find one that suits your circumstances and then check the quality
  • In reply to Peter Stanway:

    I’d wholeheartedly agree that an LLM in employment law is much to be preferred
  • When I was about a decade into my HR career I did my graduate diploma in law, with the thought of retraining into employment law. I will never regret the learning that came with that period of study, but ultimately at the end of the course I realised that I much preferred the life of an HR professional to a solicitor. I'm still fascinated by the law, and one day will do the LLM (I keep looking at the options), but I came to realise how much more HR can add to most people situations than an employment solicitor.
  • To ascertain your ability and confidence, perhaps you join in the communities and help other HR personnel on here by giving them advice. There are no pass or fail marks! :-)
  • Hi Rebecca

    I hope you're well. My career ambitions are to either start consultancy work or move into an Employment Law specialist role. My previous experience has been as HR Business Partner and HR Manager, predominately working on strategic change but with responsibility for ER case load as and when.

    I've recently commenced the LLM Employment Law course through De Montfort University virtually. Happy to keep in touch and let you know my recommendations to this.
  • In reply to Laura Rogers:

    Hi Laura - that would be great and much appreciated. I’ll try and find you on LinkedIn so we can discuss further.
  • In reply to Laura Rogers:

    Leicester is probably one of the better ones
  • In reply to Rebecca Read:

    Hi Rebecca,

    Here's my profile www.linkedin.com/.../