Work experience at Law firms Watch

aims143
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Hi,

Im going into my final year of university (studying history), and I was wondering how I gain work experience from Law firms or even to do some volunteering or shadowing.

In terms of work experience, are there any kind of additional things I need to do beforehand in order to have a successful work experience application?
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milkshakelover
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work experience isnt required
transferable skills will get you far; be that demo'd through society positions, extra curric, volunteering
if you do want to do law related stuff look at CAB and Aspiring Solicitors
DM if you want more advice x
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LpoolLawStudent
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(Original post by aims143)
Hi,

Im going into my final year of university (studying history), and I was wondering how I gain work experience from Law firms or even to do some volunteering or shadowing.

In terms of work experience, are there any kind of additional things I need to do beforehand in order to have a successful work experience application?
You'll want to look at applying for vacation schemes at the start of your third year. There is plenty of advice on how to do this online (chambers student, lawcareers, legal cheek). Also no doubt your University careers or law society will run events. University of Law and BPP tend to run a lot at their postgrad campuses (and on campus at Universities, depending where you go).
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by milkshakelover)
work experience isnt required
I hope you're referring to legal work experience...
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aims143
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Hello,

Thank you for your reply!

In terms of these Vacation schemes, are they extremely difficult to get a hold of? ESP for a non-law student? I'm worrying that my interest in law may be questioned bc I have only started to look now - I feel like I have definitely made up my mind in going into Law, however I feel like my odds might be super low and it's a worry! I don't want to JUST work hard, but also work efficiently so everything I do end up doing, can be seen as directly helping my odds if that makes sense?
(Original post by LpoolLawStudent)
You'll want to look at applying for vacation schemes at the start of your third year. There is plenty of advice on how to do this online (chambers student, lawcareers, legal cheek). Also no doubt your University careers or law society will run events. University of Law and BPP tend to run a lot at their postgrad campuses (and on campus at Universities, depending where you go).
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LpoolLawStudent
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(Original post by aims143)
Hello,

Thank you for your reply!

In terms of these Vacation schemes, are they extremely difficult to get a hold of? ESP for a non-law student? I'm worrying that my interest in law may be questioned bc I have only started to look now - I feel like I have definitely made up my mind in going into Law, however I feel like my odds might be super low and it's a worry! I don't want to JUST work hard, but also work efficiently so everything I do end up doing, can be seen as directly helping my odds if that makes sense?
Only half of those who practice law actually studied it. Applying to vacation schemes is one way you can show that you have an interest. It's also a way of being able to undertake some legal tasks to see if it's actually something you even want to pursue.

Places on the schemes ARE competitive though, which is it's so important that you are attending events at your Uni and doing researching law firms and the types of work they do.
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aims143
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I do remember seeing a statistic on that, that is quite reassuring! - not that it's going to make it much easier haha.

Ok, so what kind of things would you recommend that I do in order to kind of stand out? Would this just be the standard volunteering etc? Would these kinds of extra curricular activities make for a more convincing application?

Would networking with firms at career fairs help my chances?
(Original post by LpoolLawStudent)
Only half of those who practice law actually studied it. Applying to vacation schemes is one way you can show that you have an interest. It's also a way of being able to undertake some legal tasks to see if it's actually something you even want to pursue.

Places on the schemes ARE competitive though, which is it's so important that you are attending events at your Uni and doing researching law firms and the types of work they do.
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aims143
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What would your advice be in regards to this?
(Original post by JohanGRK)
I hope you're referring to legal work experience...
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LpoolLawStudent
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(Original post by aims143)
I do remember seeing a statistic on that, that is quite reassuring! - not that it's going to make it much easier haha.

Ok, so what kind of things would you recommend that I do in order to kind of stand out? Would this just be the standard volunteering etc? Would these kinds of extra curricular activities make for a more convincing application?

Would networking with firms at career fairs help my chances?
If your University has a negotiation society or a law clinic, they could be useful to you. They make good talking points for interviews and can be a good addition to a CV. Which University do you go to?
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aims143
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I go to the University of Leicester. I was a part of the Law society, though regrettably, I didn't get involved as much as I should have. I guess I can alter that next year!
(Original post by LpoolLawStudent)
If your University has a negotiation society or a law clinic, they could be useful to you. They make good talking points for interviews and can be a good addition to a CV. Which University do you go to?
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milkshakelover
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
I hope you're referring to legal work experience...
I know my industry. The OP was specifically talking about legal work experience so I didn’t think it prudent to emphasise.
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by milkshakelover)
I know my industry. The OP was specifically talking about legal work experience so I didn’t think it prudent to emphasise.
Alright Ms. Knowledgeable, didn't mean to offend
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3121
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Commit a crime so you can say you’ve worked with a solicitor and barrister on a criminal case
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Notoriety
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(Original post by milkshakelover)
I know my industry. The OP was specifically talking about legal work experience so I didn’t think it prudent to emphasise.
What industry is yours?
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Palmyra
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(Original post by milkshakelover)
I know my industry. The OP was specifically talking about legal work experience so I didn’t think it prudent to emphasise.
you're 18? teenagers these days...
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LpoolLawStudent
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(Original post by 3121)
Commit a crime so you can say you’ve worked with a solicitor and barrister on a criminal case
I think that only works if you're an attractive middle class blonde from Oxford...
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MaxReid
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Look at law firms that take third year non-law students for their vacation schemes.

Happy to help with any questions.
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JohanGRK
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(Original post by Palmyra)
you're 18? teenagers these days...
Actually, she's a first year law student at Lancaster or something, so she deserves to use the possessive

And she'll no doubt be turning 19 soon!!
Last edited by JohanGRK; 1 month ago
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aims143
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I'm just really worried about applying and then gaining rejections - esp as right now I'm so new to selling myself in this profession. I'm assuming you cant really contact these same firms again in the future can you?

I did call up a small high-street firm the other day, they had branches connected to immigration and property - two areas that I would be interested in, so I figured it was worth a shot. The man was really friendly and helpful, however, he mentioned that smaller firms tend to not be insured to take on more people even for shadowing etc. Is this the case for every smaller firm? He gave me the names of the bigger firms, however, I really don't think I'd stand a chance in gaining somewhere w them - my A Levels do lack slightly and I'm sure this will impede on my progress in finding experience.
(Original post by MaxReid)
Look at law firms that take third year non-law students for their vacation schemes.

Happy to help with any questions.
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Varis
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Hi! Having legal work experience and any other work experience is sought after but isn't strictly a necessity. However, having any kind of work experience, especially legal work experience, helps you in many ways. It'll help you exemplify your interest in law and 'commitment' to pursuing a career in law. It'll also be useful 'ammunition' that you can use in your application. That is especially useful to you as a non-law applicant, as many firms will often question you during your interview about your commitment to pursuing a career in law.

Generally speaking, extracurriculars are perhaps more useful in terms of the application form process. The extracurricular experiences you undertake during university are directly useful when writing applications and answering the often featured competency questions (e.g. 'Tell me about a time where you worked in a team effectively', etc).

(Original post by aims143)
I'm just really worried about applying and then gaining rejections - esp as right now I'm so new to selling myself in this profession. I'm assuming you cant really contact these same firms again in the future can you?

I did call up a small high-street firm the other day, they had branches connected to immigration and property - two areas that I would be interested in, so I figured it was worth a shot. The man was really friendly and helpful, however, he mentioned that smaller firms tend to not be insured to take on more people even for shadowing etc. Is this the case for every smaller firm? He gave me the names of the bigger firms, however, I really don't think I'd stand a chance in gaining somewhere w them - my A Levels do lack slightly and I'm sure this will impede on my progress in finding experience.
I don't think firms hold it against you if you've applied before and you were subsequently rejected. I've applied to a few firms that rejected me before and i was subsequently offered a training contract. In my experience, they probably don't remember your previous failed application from the last cycle. However, I am sure some firms will take note of it. The most important thing you can do is to ensure that the subsequent application is improved, differentiated and shows some sort of growth or development on your part. If your pool of experiences remains largely the same, and you don't write particularly any better than the previous application, you can naturally expect to be rejected again.

On your point about being a non-law student, I actually think it is an advantage. I personally think it is easier to be a non-law applicant as you'll find it easier to differentiate yourself from other applicants. As with any advantage, it has to be fully utilised, so just make sure you think about how your non-law degree can be leveraged and applied to a career in law. I will admit, most non-law students definitely struggle in terms of the information game, and it'll be harder to find out what you're meant to know and do at an earlier stage in your university life. But if you take a proactive step in seeing what your university's career service can do, law society, etc, you'll be fine!

I think a lot of the other posters have made valid points about the opportunities you should be able to pursue right now to help enhance your application.

Hope this helps! Definitely reach out to friends and people you know to look over your application. That'll probably be the most practically impactful thing!
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