Spencer5567
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Do you have to know lawyers when trying to become a lawyer in order to actually become one, do you need connections?
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squeakysquirrel
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(Original post by Alafifisama)
Do you have to know lawyers when trying to become a lawyer in order to actually become one, do you need connections?
No of course not. It helps if you. can get some work experience and contacts may be useful. But no
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Reality Check
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(Original post by Alafifisama)
Do you have to know lawyers when trying to become a lawyer in order to actually become one, do you need connections?
It's useful to 'network' (to use a horrible phrase) - it's an unfortunate necessity in recruitment now.
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MidgetFever
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You don't need to 'know lawyers' but you do need to network in order to gain knowledge on how certain firms operate and how their recruitment processes are carried out.
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Johnny ~
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(Original post by Alafifisama)
Do you have to know lawyers when trying to become a lawyer in order to actually become one, do you need connections?
For solicitors, it will likely depend on how large the firm is and how structured its recruitment process is

For bigger firms, no. They don't. It's helpful to get your face recognised by HR and get good feedback during a vacation scheme, but that's about it.
For smaller firms, who knows, they'll want to get to know you, but that doesn't mean connections/nepotism come into play. 'Getting to know you' could just mean you paralegalling there first for 6 months.

Connections can be made at all levels through cold emailing, using Linkedin to get in touch with people, asking people to go for a coffee with you, etc.

These days, candidates who have family members who are practising lawyers benefit indirectly (e.g. through access to informal work experience and advice on what interviewers actually look for) rather than directly ("I got hired because daddy is a lawyer here"). The overwhelming majority of people I know who are practising did not have connections at the firm they are working at.

Don't know much about the Bar. Crazy Jamie is the expert!
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Crazy Jamie
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The importance of 'who you know' when it comes to the Bar is still misunderstood quite a lot of the time. There was once a time at the Bar where your dad knowing someone at a set would get you pupillage at that set, but that is a thing of the past now. If you do have connections, for example if a family member knows a barrister, that may be enough to get you a mini pupillage or similar, but the majority of sets now have sufficiently robust recruitment processes (or should have them) that an individual barrister would find it extremely difficult to influence the process in favour of a particular candidate even if they were minded to do so. Pupillage applications that come through the pupillage gateway are anonymised, for example.

Networking is a bit different. It is a useful thing to do, but not because if you hit it off with a barrister you'll be offered pupillage. Again, it may be a route into a mini pupillage or similar, but the use of networking with barristers is that it can help to give you that insight into the gap between being a student and a practising barrister, and what you need to do to bridge it (which I've said before is one of, if not the most important thing for a pupillage application). One of the best way to gain that information and insight into what you need to be a practising barrister is to be around practising barristers, and networking helps you to do that.

All that said, and to directly answer the question, no you don't need connections to become a barrister. As with anything having connections can help, but they're unlikely to be the one difference between getting pupillage and not and you can, in any event, forge those connections yourself if you're minded to.
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