First Article Published – First Year Law Work Experience Ideas

So towards the end of last week I got some very exciting news, and after telling my family I just had to share it with you.

My first article has been published.

Yes, that’s right.  My first ever article for something other than my law blog has been published.  It is all about First Year Law Work Experience Ideas and I hope you all find it useful.

Click on the link to be taken to the page: http://www.allaboutlaw.co.uk/index.php/careers/work-experience/first-year-law-work-experience-ideas/ 

I cover 3 key topics in the article for All About Law:

  1. What work experience can a first year do?
  2. Pro Bono.  What is it? Why should you should do it?
  3. What other options do first year law students have?

For those of you who just want to read it I will copy my article into this blog post below.

I hope you enjoy reading and if you have any other questions about work experience, or just studying law in general then do contact me via my contact page!

Rebecca x

First Year Law Work Experience Ideas

Everyone knows about work experience, but so many students make the mistake of thinking it is not important early on. Your career starts when you first attend university, and that means getting out there, networking, and building up your CV and experience.

No doubt your parents, lecturers and your friends in the year above are all encouraging you to start applying for work experience and mini pupillages. With the prospect of a summer of freedom on the horizon, you might think that it can all wait until next year. The reality is that in the current legal climate you need to do as much as you can to make yourself stand out from everyone else.

Through researching various schemes and placements, you will notice a few things. Some require an application months in advance, others you can email and they get you booked in within a few weeks. Some will have a rigorous application form, others will just require a CV and e-mail. Ensure any communication made is tailored for that placement, and not a copy and paste job!

What work experience can a first year do?

Mini-pupillages are a chance to shadow a barrister for two days or a week and provide great exposure to the court system and advocacy. They are crucial experience if you are seeking a career at the Bar. Vacation schemes are internships at law firms which take place in the winter, spring and summer. Increasingly, many law firms recruit trainees from their vacation scheme intake.

The problem for first years is that many mini pupillages and vacation schemes are only available to students in their second year or above. You’ll need to think slightly outside of the box and try and get plenty of prior experience, so that when you do apply for mini pupillages/vacation schemes in your second year you can demonstrate your dedication to a career in the law.

Pro bono work…

Does your university run a law clinic or street law project? They offer a great chance to develop legal skills as well as confidence, plus it’s voluntary. You will (under the supervision of a tutor) be helping people who need legal advice but cannot afford it. Street law enables you to go into schools or visit young offenders and teach them about a legal topic relevant to them, helping you to develop skills pertinent to your future career.

The Citizen’s Advice Bureau and Free Representation Unit are always looking for volunteers to help out and provide advice for those who need it. This is similar to working in a student law clinic, but you will receive formal training and will be able network with the trainers.

Other options…

Police Stations offer students the chance to shadow an officer for a shift. This is a good opportunity to see what goes on behind the scenes, especially if you are interested in pursuing a career in criminal law. It’s great to take the luxury while you can to explore all aspects of the justice system.

Do not forget that large companies have in-house legal teams too. When you are sending speculative work experience letters to local solicitors, why not send a few to the legal departments of big companies? It’s great to amass a variety of work experience so you can start to figure out what type of legal organisation you want to work for and in what area of law.

Networking during your work experience is crucial. Not only will contacts help your career, but they might be able to recommend other avenues for work experience if you ask them nicely!

Written by Rebecca Morgan, law student @ Hertfordshire University

Rebecca writes a blog which can be found at lawyerinthemaking.co.uk. She also tweets at @lawyer_inmaking.

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