I hope everyone is enjoying the summer and the lovely weather. I’m still in awe that I am in England, and not abroad!!
In my last blog post, I started telling you about the variety of things you can be doing during the summer, apart from sleeping the day away. To all those soon-to-be law students and law students alike, there are plenty of things that you can be doing to make you stand out from the crowd. I know you have probably heard this, but if you want to pursue a career in the legal world, academic achievement alone will unfortunately not get you there. You need a unique and original application or CV that makes you stand out from the other hundreds or thousands of applicants out there.
So what do you need to do? In my opinion, securing legal work experience is a staple for success for many reasons.
First of all, finding and securing legal work experience reflects very well on you as a person and a potential candidate. It shows you have the commitment and drive to find and secure a placement, as well as the motivation and interest to your chosen legal career path. Furthermore, it broadens your knowledge and understanding of the legal world and gives you an opportunity for some much-needed insight and research. Also, with knowledge and practice comes the ability to gain skills – skills that are transferrable when actually applying for posts in the future.
Now in terms of legal work experience – what is there you can do? Well, the two main obvious types of work experience are mini-pupillages and vacation schemes. Mini-pupillages are the work experience you should aim to get, particularly if you want to be a barrister. They consist of two to five days spent shadowing a barrister where you will ‘see them in action’ in court as well as in chambers. On the other hand vacation schemes are when you are able to work at a firm for either one or two weeks. Nevertheless, these are not the only types of legal work experiences you can find. Shadowing lawyers is a brilliant opportunity and I urge all students to do this because it increases your chances to network and meet other lawyers and gain potentially more work experience.
So how do you secure placements? Well there is no, one straightforward way. Sometimes your local chambers or solicitors have websites that advertise such work experiences and all you have to do is contact them. The following is a brilliant website, All About Law, that gives you the best tips and guidance for securing that work experience.
The advice I give to you is that with any work experience, you need to sell yourself. Be enthusiastic, be willing to go the extra mile and keep that smile on your face. A positive attitude really does make you stand out and you never know what might happen!
And just to show you all that I’m not all talk and no action, next Wednesday I will be posting a blog on what work experience I have done this summer, how I got it and what I have learnt.
See you soon!