Several people have recently asked me why I’m not a Liberal Democrat, or to join the party, or just assumed that I’ve been a member for years. In fact, I’ve not been a member of any party since my first year at university, and I’ve never even actively campaigned for the Lib Dems. I have considered getting back into politics though, although I have ruled out being a councillor – the allowance is too low to cover my monthly costs – and life as an MP doesn’t particularly appeal either. I’d much rather operate behind the scenes, more advisor/strategist than front line politician or spin-doctor. The thing I find most frustrating is the stigma involved with being a member of a political party – it was particularly bad as a Conservative (EVIL TORY) and people I know in other parties seem to get it in the neck quite often as well.
The other avenue I have been investigating recently is the prospect of taking the Graduate Diploma in Law at MMU. This is effectively a conversion course which puts you in the same position as having completed a law degree. From what I can remember, you do the GDL, then the Legal Practice Course, and then join a law firm as a trainee and work your way up the ranks. For me, the safest option is do the GDL part time in the evenings, as that minimises the cost and means I don’t have to give up my job. The concept of becoming a solicitor specialising in company, insurance or technology law (the first two I have become familiar with through my job and voluntary organisations) is especially appealing, though my main concern is how long it would take to get there. There’s an open day at MMU next week, so I’m planning to attend that and get a bit more information, plus act on helpful tips from a long discussion with Richard (who works for a law firm, though not as a solicitor) after last week’s Currybeer to see what career opportunities are available for older entrants without a law degree.