Recently, I was working an Open Day as a Law School Student Ambassador and a parent asked me what kinds of networking opportunities there are available for law students. I rattled off my usual list: Law Society competitions and moot winners receive work experiences or offers to shadow lawyers/judges, barristers and solicitors come in to do application workshops for Open/Insight Days, vacation schemes, and training contracts or they just talk about ‘a day in the life’, the Law Society holds networking events and meet & greets with firm reps. The parent was really impressed by all these opportunities, and reasonably so, but she also said ‘but these are opportunities that you have to be proactive in pursuing’, and after rattling off that list multiple times in past Visit Days, I had never realised that was the key point to make. You pave your own path!
Your degree is what you make of it. If you make the effort to search for them, the opportunities will present themselves. It’s also a matter of putting yourself in positions in which you have chances at seizing the opportunities presented to you (i.e. getting involved with Law Society). If you do get involved with the Law Society or befriend law academics, you’re absolutely on the right path to making a name for yourself within the law graduate recruitment realm. The earlier you get started the better, because academics watching you grow can give you good references when you’ll inevitably need them, and/or law firms watching you grow throughout your degree will be willing to take you on in final year because they’ve seen your ability to develop and refine your skillset.
This translates into non-academic and extra-curricular life, as well. Make the effort to go out of your comfort zone to join a new society. Build connections with people and turn them into incredible friendships. If you want to branch out, you have to reach out!