Employment Lawyer Job Description
Employment law relates to all matters concerning the workplace, specifically the rights of both employers and employees.
Employment is a cycle from initial hiring to contract termination – making it an incredibly varied practice area. Employment law is constantly changing, so prospective lawyers will need to be able to keep up with legal developments.
There are many rewarding elements to a career in employment law, but there is also a great deal of exposure to difficult and highly sensitive matters, meaning that Employment Lawyers need to be empathetic yet able to exercise good judgement.
In this Employment Lawyer job description, we give an overview of what the role involves, as well as salary expectations and the steps required to build a career in employment law.
Employment law governs the employer-employee relationship, upholding and protecting the obligations and rights of both parties.
Non-contentious employment work involves the provision of advice, research, drafting, arbitration and negotiation. Contentious matters relate to issues such as breach of contracts, discrimination, dismissals and harassment.
Employment Lawyers assist employees by advising them in instances where employers do not comply with the law and providing legal representation in contentious cases.
Employers may seek the advice of an Employment Lawyer to ensure that they comply with the laws relating to the formation and cessation of employee relationships. This will likely relate to matters such as defending claims, drafting and negotiating employment contracts and advising on HR policies.
Employment Lawyers work in a range of organisations, including private firms, institutions, government bodies, in-house, HR departments, or at an employment agency.
The role of an Employment Lawyer varies depending on the organisation and whether the work is contentious or non-contentious, however typical duties are likely to include:
• Conducting legal research into past cases and documents
• Drafting and preparing claims, employment contracts or other legal documentation
• Providing legal advice to clients
• Negotiating on behalf of clients
• Representing clients in court / tribunal hearings
• Working in the best interests of employers and employees
• Keeping up to date with new developments in employment legislation
To become an Employment Lawyer, you will first need to qualify as a solicitor. You will need a law degree followed by the Legal Practice Course (LPC) before completing a training contract.
An alternate undergraduate degree first requires a law conversion course such as the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) before you can complete the LPC and training.
Once you have qualified, the key way to stand out to prospective employers is to show a genuine interest in the sector. Keeping up to date with changes in employment law, as well as attending employment tribunals as a member of the public show a dedication and commitment to the sector.
You can also further your prospects by studying for a CiPD accredited qualification. Courses such as the Advanced Award in Employment Law are designed to develop your skills and expertise, and can be completed alongside your full time occupation.
Employment Lawyers require the following skills:• A sensible, methodical approach
• A good sense of judgement along with the ability to make difficult decisions
• Adaptability and proactivity
• Strong negotiation and drafting skills
• Good research and organisational skills
• A high level of accuracy and attention to detail
• Excellent communication skills with the ability to explain legal matters to clients in a clear, concise manner
The salary of an Employment Lawyer will depend on factors including experience level, type of employer and location.
According to our 2018 Audience Insight Report, the average salary for employment law professionals was £46,054. More junior lawyers can expect to be earning up to £30,000, whilst an experienced lawyer in London could earn around £75,000+.
Employment Lawyers have plenty of professional development opportunities on offer to them. As previously mentioned, qualifications such as those offered by the CiPD are an excellent way to boost your career.
As you gain knowledge and experience, you will be able to have more autonomy in your role, taking on more responsibility such as supervising junior employment solicitors.
Within a private practice, you can become a Partner when you reach Senior Associate level. If you are working in-house, a step up to Head of Legal or General Counsel would be a natural progression, or if you’re working in a HR department, taking on a managerial position would also be a reasonable move.
Employment Lawyer jobs on TotallyLegal
We have a variety of Employment Lawyer job vacancies live on TotallyLegal – ranging from NQ to Partner level across the UK.
If you’re thinking about applying for your next Employment Lawyer position, browse TotallyLegal to discover our range of employment legal jobs.
Not quite there yet? Check out our new graduate section on the careers blog for top tips on getting started in the legal sector.
Would you like to take part in an interview about your experience as a Employment Lawyer? If so, we would love to hear from you. Get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.