What Are The Best Extra Curricular Activities To Secure A Top Tc Or Pupillage Watch

Baadshah
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Hi,

Supposing you've got all the boxes ticked. Good GCSE's, good A-Levels, good uni, 2:1 and above degree class what are the extras future top employers look for to diffrentiate between the many similar applicants they have?

In addition, how proactive do you need to be as you go through the degree?

Thanks.

B:cool:
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chalks
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I suggest you look at the question differently. What skills and abilities do you think are needed to be a good lawyer? Identify those, and then look to do extra-currics which will help you develop them.

Firms don't have a list of "approved" activities i.e. "Ah, rugby captain - 5 points; CAB - 10 points - yep, lets interview him". Its more of a matter of you showing that what YOU have done has taught you what will be needed when you start work.

By way of example, a keen musician can show that his/her interest has taught them the merits of hard-work/dedication and working in a cohesive group/team. Someone working for the CAB can show that they have started to learn legal skills. Outdoors type stuff can show leadership/teamwork/handling pressure.

Bear in mind that nearly every application form will ask you to show a "position of responsibility" and what you gained from that. It would be wise to try and get one of those under your belt if possible.

Don't forget, however, that uni isn't just about loading your CV to get a job. Its an opportunity to try things you'd never thought of before and enjoy yourself! If you like the idea of the Three-Legged Ballroom Dancing Society or the Bog-Snorkelling Club then give it a go and stuff the fact that it won't necessarily amaze potential interviewers.

As for being pro-active - the more you are, the more you'll get out of your time at uni.

Chalks
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Ethereal
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(Original post by Baadshah)
Hi,

Supposing you've got all the boxes ticked. Good GCSE's, good A-Levels, good uni, 2:1 and above degree class what are the extras future top employers look for to diffrentiate between the many similar applicants they have?

In addition, how proactive do you need to be as you go through the degree?

Thanks.

B:cool:
Do you really value enjoyment of life below meeting some ficticious standard of some pipedream recruitment drive??
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chalks
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Actually, I think the question is a fair one. If you're determined to get into a top city firm its worth making sure that some of the things you do in your spare time will impress potential interviewers.

Clearly, however, that shouldn't be to the detriment of your time at Uni generally.
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Ethereal
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I really can't see the point in doing something I don't enjoy just to impress someone. When all is said and done life is too short!

Most, if not all extra-corriculars will offer some transferable skill. Do the ones you will enjoy so you are having FUN whilst getting the skills. Unless somehow the word FUN has been removed from the dictionary.
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chalks
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I disagree.

It is often worth doing something which isn't a barrel of laughs for a reward in the long run. In these circumstances, that might be something tedious like standing as Law Soc treasurer or whatever so that you can tick the "Position of Responsibility" box on the applic form.

It would be great if Uni was simply about having masses of fun and then strolling into a TC on the basis of your stunning grades and membership of the Knitting Club. Unfortunately, the reality is that you may need to be a little cynical and "target" a couple of activities which will catch the eye.
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Ethereal
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I've not done anything I haven't enjoyed. Maybe I just got lucky that my activities were useful :p:

As for lawsoc treasurer, our lawsoc committee are mostly drunken layabouts who don't bother to turn up to lectures and tutorials!!
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Lauren18
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Lol I can assure you the KCL Law Soc is first class, especially the Secretary :p:
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Ethereal
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Would you, perchance be the secretary of KCL Lawsoc?
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manthi
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Umm..Ethereal..reading your early debate with Lawz regarding the unimportance of the university itself to get a TC, I think you're an exceptional case. You've not gone to a 'top flight' uni (as you yourself have said), and you've done extra curriculars which are fun and you claim to not have bothered to even think of what employers may like as extra curriculars. This may all be true, but if so, you're an incredible rarity. I doubt such a turn of events happens to many people. So I agree with Chalks, looking at the long term prospects of a particular EC would not be wrong at all, even though it may not be incredibly enjoyable. Its a bit irresponsible for you to tell people not to care about ECs that employers will like, and to do whats merely "fun" because in reality, such a position would not leave an applicant in a very good state; although you may have got a TC by doing it.

This is subject to what I read in the earlier thread about you saying that university prestige does not matter.
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Ethereal
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Commitment, hard work, the ability to function as part of a team, a drive to succeed are all far more important than

a) university name
b) doing a specific set of ECs

I think it is no more irresponsible to advocate people go where they will be happy than it is to advocate aiming at a "top flight" uni. In fact, I would argue that a person's happiness and well being is far more important than meeting an imaginary tick list.

As I have repeatedly said, no one knows what is in the mind of the recruitment person looking through the application forms. For all you know they may have a particular distaste for a top flight uni and such agonising has been a waste of time. Likewise certain EC.

If you re-read what I said, I pointed out most if not all ECs will have something to offer in terms of skills for your CV, so no I see no reason to do something you don't like. It is far better for all concerned if you enjoy your activities and present them in a way that demonstrates the skills they gave you. If you do an activity you hated and you are asked about it at interview, it is going to be somewhat difficult to enthuse about it.

I would argue that if someone is looking for something that sets them apart, as per the original question, perhaps they can set themselves apart by not being obsessed by this ridiculous box ticking approach to life you all seem to love so much.
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Dreama
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(Original post by manthi)
you're an incredible rarity.
I think that's the best type of person to be.
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Ethereal
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Thank you Dreama!!
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Dreama
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^ Don't thank me, tis true. I get sick to the back teeth of people doing things that make them miserable and uttering under their breath "It'll look good on my CV though." What a complete waste of life.

I'm of the opinion that if you try and mould yourself to suit... Then you'll always have that artificial edge which I detest so much in people.

I can see straight through the people who are trying so desperately to 'fit in the box' that they're all little clones armed with their "2:1, good references, sound extra curriculars" and it bores me to death.

I'm of the opinion that there is no magic formula... And if there was... I'd do the opposite. If there's one thing that stands out in competition, it's diversity.
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Ethereal
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Well, that makes 2 of us

Minority rule? lol
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Dreama
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He He

Don't get me wrong... This is a more recent opinion I've formed... I can see the logic and have looked for security in a nice little magic formula.

I have respect for people who can stomach tedious activities for their future benefit, (indeed I'm sure a great deal of people enjoy activities I would deem tedious!!)

All I'm saying is, it's simply not for me.
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Ethereal
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It's my belief that the peddling of this "must get brilliant A-Levels, go to X,Y or Z Uni and do A,B,C,D & E activities whilst holding F position of responsibilty in G organization" kind of attitude is unfair on people.

I wonder how many people have read these threads and thought "I don't go to the right uni" or "I don't do the right activities" or "I didn't bake enough cakes for the church fare" and just decided not to even bother applying for Training Contracts at larger firms.

I think this kind of ethos sells a lot of people short.
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Baadshah
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lol. An innocent question seems to evoke a great deal of passion these days...

Emotions aside, does anyone actually know what the good things are to do at uni to help ones cause. Whether they're fun or not is irrelevant. There's no harm in being clued up as to what EC's are a good idea to consider. Then once you have some kind of list, then decide what you want to do after that.

Please feel free to add to this list...

Mooting.
Debating societies.
Mini pupillages.
Work experience at solicitors firms.
CAB Training/advising
Involvement in uni soceties.
Sports.
Pro Bono Work at Law Firms and in the community.
Essay writing for magazines...
Activist for something or the other.

I can't be bothered to think of any more. But are these the types of things employers are looking for?
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Ethereal
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Voluntary work
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john171
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Organisational Skills and Leadership qualities, organise a ski trip to France for some people in your class or something. That way you're getting the best of both worlds

A week of beautiful skiing and at the same time gainig the all important skills.
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