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Legal advisor

Legal executive

Legal advisors provide companies with guidance in matters relating to law. Within the construction industry, a legal advisor would assist with client contracts, draft legal documents and resolve disputes.

Average salary*

£19000

-

£60000

Typical hours per week

39 - 41

How to become a legal advisor

There are several routes to becoming a legal advisor. You could do a university degree, a college course, an apprenticeship or apply to an employer directly if you have relevant experience. 

You should explore these routes to find out which is the right one for you. Although some of these options have certain qualification requirements, many employers are more interested in people who are enthusiastic, willing to learn and can follow instructions.

You may need a Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) card to work on a construction site.

University

You could complete an undergraduate degree in law, or a postgraduate degree such as a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), and specialise in legal matters relating to construction.

You’ll usually need: 

  • 2 - 3 A levels, or equivalent (undergraduate degree)
  • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject (postgraduate degree). 

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a university course

> Funding advice

Graduate training scheme

If you have a relevant university qualification, you could apply to a legal company’s graduate training scheme to gain experience as a legal advisor, or specialise in construction.

College

You could qualify as a legal advisor by completing a Level 3 Professional Diploma in Law and Practice or a Level 6 Professional Higher Diploma in Law and Practice.

After completing a college qualification, you would need to complete a further three-year period of qualifying employment. This means you would carry out legal work under the supervision of a solicitor, senior chartered legal executive, barrister or licensed conveyancer. You could do this in a legal practice, a legal department of a private company or in a government department.

You’ll need:

  • 4 - 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent (level 3 course)
  • 2 -3 A levels, or equivalent (level 6 course).

> Equivalent entry requirements explained

> Find a course near you

> Funding advice

Apprenticeship

An apprenticeship with a law firm is a good way into the industry. You could complete a chartered legal executive higher apprenticeship to become a legal advisor. This is usually done after completing a paralegal apprenticeship.

To complete a higher or degree apprenticeship you will usually need 4 - 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), and A levels, or equivalent.

Apprenticeships are open to anyone over the age of 16. As an apprentice, you will be fully employed by your company and expected to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. Your time will be split between on-the-job experience and a college or training provider.

> Find an apprenticeship near you

> Guide to apprenticeships

Work

If you have previous experience within a legal company, you may be able to apply directly to a large construction company for a job within its legal department. You could then gain experience and receive further training to specialise in legal matters related to construction. You may then start as an assistant to a more experienced legal advisor and progress as your abilities improve. 

Work experience

Work experience is essential to gaining employment within the construction industry. You could gain this at school, or by working weekends and holidays with a company or relative who works as a legal advisor. Potential employers will always be pleased to see work experience listed on your CV.

> Find out more about work experience

Skills 

Additional skills which may benefit anyone considering a job as a legal advisor include: 

  • Knowledge of legal matters
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Administration skills
  • Good team working abilities
  • Ability to use your initiative.

What does a legal advisor do?

As a legal advisor, you will be responsible for handling a company’s legal responsibilities. Duties may include preparing contracts and documentation, and providing a variety of legal support.

The role of a legal advisor in the construction industry involves the following duties: 

  • Overseeing client and vendor contracts
  • Providing commercially sensible and cost-effective legal advice for construction contracts management
  • Conducting legal research
  • Drafting basic legal documents for construction projects
  • Ensuring compliance to construction laws and regulations
  • Preparing damage claims
  • Resolving buy-sell disputes and property infringements
  • Providing arbitration, litigation and mediation support
  • Advising on the latest building standards
  • Explaining building standards to stakeholders
  • Overseeing health and safety and injury claims and offering advice on court cases
  • Meeting and interviewing clients
  • Drafting documents, letters and contracts
  • Acting on behalf of clients in disputes, if necessary.

How much could you earn as a legal advisor?

The expected salary for a legal advisor varies as you become more experienced.

  • Newly trained legal advisors can earn £19,000 - £25,000
  • Trained legal advisors with some experience can earn £25,000 - £60,000
  • Senior legal advisors can earn in excess of £60,000.*

Hours and salary depend on location, employer and any overtime you may do.

* Salaries have been collected from multiple industry sources and have been updated as of 2019


Jobs

Check out the latest legal advisor vacancies:  

As these are external websites, the number of vacancies related to your preferred role may vary. New opportunities will be posted as they come up.

Career path and progression

As a legal advisor, you could progress to become a contracts manager or compliance manager.

Alternatively, you could become a self-employed project consultant.


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