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    Hi my daughter is due to graduate in July with a Law degree and is now struggling to get advice and guidance for her to progress in family Law. She is experiencing rejections when she tries to apply for scholarships or work experience her university seems to favour corporate law not family law. Does anyone have any advice or guidance that would help her? Please??
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    Hi

    I do not have any experience with family law, however I am a Trainee Solicitor and therefore I have endured the process of obtaining work experience.

    The problem with obtaining work experience in 'non-corporate' areas is that the firms who generally practise these areas do no have formal work experience programmes. This makes accessing work experience that bit more difficult as you have to obtain the contacts yourself.

    My advice would be for her to contact local firms directly via email. The majority of firms will have websites with information on their 'teams' and therefore your daughter should be able to work out what the firm does in relation to family law and who specifically does it. I would advise her to email one of the senior solicitors in the department and tell them of her current position (3rd year student) and what she is after (work experience). Your daughter may get a few refusals (or simply get ignored), however she'll probably find someone who is willing to take her on - she only needs to get lucky once!

    One final note. Unlike a lot of private paying work, family (as far as I know) is struggling due to legal aids cuts. This means that a lot of family departments are overstretched in terms of staff. If your daughter was to offer to do regular work experience (e.g. one day a week indefinitely) then this may work in her favour as the people/person running the department will be able to see the potential help rather than the hindrance of having a student 'hang around the office' for a couple of weeks.
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    Hi thank you for your reply I have just rang her and read your advice out, she has already emailed firms but like you say if she emails the particular solicitor for family law she may get a result. As for legal aid cuts that is her chosen dissertation topic so she knows the implications this has.
    Thank you very much again
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    (Original post by Caroline5868)
    Hi thank you for your reply I have just rang her and read your advice out, she has already emailed firms but like you say if she emails the particular solicitor for family law she may get a result. As for legal aid cuts that is her chosen dissertation topic so she knows the implications this has.
    Thank you very much again
    I recall that I began emailing firms at the beginning of my third year at Uni. I received a lot of rejections/ignores but was eventually given one day per week experience at a local firm. I stayed at the firm for approximately 18 months and then used my work experience to obtain a full time job whilst undertaking the LPC. I am now due to qualify as a Solicitor in September.

    Re legal aid cuts. Tell your daughter to use them to her advantage. Family departments (particularly those which rely heavily on legal aid work) are crying out for extra staff. If your daughter can convince a particular head of department that she will be able to reduce some of that burden (even if it's only one day a week and even if it's only photocopying and organising files) then she stands a good chance of getting in a firm.

    Best of luck.
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    (Original post by Caroline5868)
    Hi thank you for your reply I have just rang her and read your advice out, she has already emailed firms but like you say if she emails the particular solicitor for family law she may get a result. As for legal aid cuts that is her chosen dissertation topic so she knows the implications this has.
    Thank you very much again
    Completely agree with the advice already given.

    The other thing to do is to find connections to the people she is contacting. For example, try to find alumni from her university who are now practising family law and specifically contact them and use the "we are both alumni from the same uni" message. A search on LinkedIn or Google will find these people.

    Other regular "connections" are things like school governors - check the list of school governors from her sixth form/secondary school and see if there are any lawyers in this group. I know people who have utilised the fact they support the same sports team or are involved in the same amateur dramatics group to secure informal work experience.

    Being able to make a connection between you as a applicant/candidate to the person you are contacting is likely to have a bigger impact (and success rate) than just contacting people randomly (which I would advise doing anyway).
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    If you are in London look up the Personal Support Unit, she could potentially volunteer with them, they send volunteers to help litigants in person in the family courts. Your daughter would have to commit though to a regular schedule but it can be fitted in around other commitments.

    I would also suggest that she does some research around charities which may have a legal helpline to potentially volunteer. For example Domestic violence helplines.

    Don't rule out mini pupillages or unofficial mini pupillages either, more contacting people which is challenging but many barristers are a friendly lot.

    Legal aid cuts have meant big changes in courts in recent years, big impacts on family lawyers! Good luck 😊


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