Post A level Work Exp./Cover Letter Watch

Schott
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#1
Report Thread starter 11 years ago
#1
Thought it'd be a good idea ot start early with all this rather than leaving it too late.

I will be a non-law student starting in Oct but eventually maybe going on to be a solicitor. Sooooo, there are two small private practicises in my village and I'm thinking of applying there for work experience in August/Sept.

Do I include a CV with my letter?
Do I state how long I want the placement to be, or is that rude and I should take what they offer me (or is there a standard amount of time) ?
What do I include on the letter?


My parents queried whether I'd be allowed to get experience there due to some of the information being confidential? Any thoughts (they don't actually know much about Law, just wondered)?

Also being small practices there would probably be only one solicitor and a secretary - would I get under their feet a bit with such small staff numbers?
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chalks
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#2
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By all means apply to them but expect them to turn you down. Small high street firms/sole practitioners rarely have the resources to look after a student.

Having said that:

- yes, include your CV.
- no, don't say how long you want it for. In your covering letter indicate that you'd welcome whatever experience they're able to offer - that might be a couple of days or a couple of weeks.
- cover letter should clearly state who you are and what you'd like from them (i.e. any sort of experience/shadowing opportunities). Set out some basic skills you have eg hard-working, diligent, professional, keen etc etc.

There may be limitations on the information which you're allowed to see due to issues of confidentiality and privilege. However, to the extent that you're employed by the firm then this shouldn't be an issue.
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Schott
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#3
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Ahh ok that's cool. I found out in conversationw ith my dad that he actually knows him quite well so he just said he'd ring him up today while he was at work and then if all was OK I'd have a talk with him after that.

Apart from that I'm looking into Citizen's Advice Bureau and possibly some of the firms in Newport. Though I guess they may be full, but then again there aren't really many graduates about in Newport (comparatively)!
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Vohamanah
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CAB work is good, I do that at the moment. It also takes 6 months off your TC.
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Lewisy-boy
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Takes six months off your TC... will top firms actually let you do less? By that, I mean will they actually pay you an NQ salary after six months less than everyone else?
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Vohamanah
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#6
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<shrugs> Hey I'm clueless. I was already volunteering when I found out about it. I'm applying to smaller firms, but since it is a nationally recognised scheme then I assume the top firms would start paying you NQ salary 6 months sooner than everyone else. But don't take that as read.
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TKR
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I'd rather have the extra six months experience in an interesting practice area... I'm doing CAB and I did read that but I doubt the likes of the top 20 go around giving people shorter training contracts just because they've been on advisernet and a few courses about discrimination...
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Vohamanah
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But if you are advising you are learning essentially the same things. Work at CAB is a lot more than looking on AdviserNet and attending courses on discrimination, I'm surprised you have found it to be that way. Just because most enquiries revolve around debts/benefits etc doesn't mean it isn't extremely valuable experience for a future solicitor.

If the firm I do my TC with are willing to reduce it by 6 months in consideration of the experience I've already received, I think it would be frankly madness to turn that down in order to have another 6 months in a practice area I likely as not, will not end up working in.
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TKR
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I'm sorry, but advising at the CAB (which in retrospect I honestly didn't mean to disparage, I really enjoy it) does not, in my opinion, teach you the "same things" as a six month seat in a well-regarded law firm's IP/Competition/*insert practice area here* department.

I thought the whole point of a four-seat TC was to give you the broadest experience possible, not just to prepare you for the practice are you end up in (you have years to get good at that). For me, turning that down would be madness.
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Schott
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#10
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Right well yep I was turned down unfortunately as apparently the practice was too small. However, on a plus I have a week's work experience at a good Highstreet Firm in Newport which should be ace.
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TKR
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Congrats! Wish I had been as focused and organised at your age.
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Lush Law
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#12
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^^ But you are focused though, you have decided in good enough time to do a law conversion rather than graduating and then 2 years laters deciding law might be a good idea innit.

And in relation to CAB - good experience I'm sure but I doubt it would knock six months off a TC. How and why!?! It's not a proper seat, it's not legal in the sense of TC. This forum is massively successful in feeding people a load of ****e quite frankly!
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Vohamanah
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(Original post by Lush Law)
And in relation to CAB - good experience I'm sure but I doubt it would knock six months off a TC. How and why!?! It's not a proper seat, it's not legal in the sense of TC. This forum is massively successful in feeding people a load of ****e quite frankly!
Because undertaking Adviser training leads to a recognised qualification. If you want to accuse people of talking ****e you should perhaps check your facts first:


http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/join-us/volunteer_roles.htm#ad


Note the part saying Attention all Law Students
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Lush Law
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Fair enough love but quite frankly I'm not going to take one sentence in font size 8 on the CAB website that ends in an exclamation mark as gospel.

I'm sure that adviser training or whatever is a recognised qualification, but so are many other millions of courses/programmes. It doesn't mean to say they're relevant to a TC.
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Vohamanah
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In which case you will have to trust the assurances of those who are currently doing said training that it is true.

In fact some of the work you do is very relevant to a legal career. It may not be the same as a TC, but it is certainly in the right area. My most recent interview was with a mother whose son had been (she believed) wrongly arrested and charged with fraud. Which is all good experience for me wanting to work in criminal defence and all. I've also been able to attend several tribunals, which may not exactly be a ground-breaker, but was good to do I think.
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TKR
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#16
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Just to be clear: I'm not disputing that CAB training takes 6 months off TCs, I'm just saying that given that opportunity, I doubt I'd take it up.
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Lewisy-boy
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#17
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I'd take it up... unless the firm wasn't going to pay me NQ rates on the basis that I wasn't yet experienced enough or if I really wanted to have a look at another department before making my decision. Although, saying that, you probably make your decision about two months into your final seat and therefore don't actually have that much to base it on!
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Schott
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#18
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Lol well the two places I'm going for work experience are purely that, to get experience lol.
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