hopeful-lawyer
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Hi there. I am starting my law degree at Southampton soon so I have some questions. Should I begin looking into internships/mini-pupillages/vac schemes now?


Secondly, if I want to become a barrister should I bother doing vac schemes (for example for my CV or to make sure I don't want to become a solicitor)?


Lastly, I am not sure which area of law I want to practice in as I have not studied it. When I apply for internships/work experience should I apply for any area?


If I have posted this in the wrong area please could someone help me?
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Euphoria101
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I don't know any of the answers lmao but you've posted in the right thread yeah. Hopefully someone will answer soon, until then perhaps harrysbar could offer some insight?
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hopeful-lawyer
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(Original post by Euphoria101)
I don't know any of the answers lmao but you've posted in the right thread yeah. Hopefully someone will answer soon, until then perhaps harrysbar could offer some insight?
Thank you for confirming this is the right forum!
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harrysbar
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(Original post by hopeful-lawyer)
Hi there. I am starting my law degree at Southampton soon so I have some questions. Should I begin looking into internships/mini-pupillages/vac schemes now?


Secondly, if I want to become a barrister should I bother doing vac schemes (for example for my CV or to make sure I don't want to become a solicitor)?


Lastly, I am not sure which area of law I want to practice in as I have not studied it. When I apply for internships/work experience should I apply for any area?


If I have posted this in the wrong area please could someone help me?
(Original post by Euphoria101)
I don't know any of the answers lmao but you've posted in the right thread yeah. Hopefully someone will answer soon, until then perhaps harrysbar could offer some insight?
Sorry to immediately pass the buck but I think better people to answer this question would be Crazy Jamie or Johnny ~
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Euphoria101
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Sorry to immediately pass the buck but I think better people to answer this question would be Crazy Jamie or Johnny ~
lmao 'immediately pass the buck', this isn't a relay race we can't keep passing on the baton

(joking)
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harrysbar
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(Original post by Euphoria101)
lmao 'immediately pass the buck', this isn't a relay race we can't keep passing on the baton

(joking)
waiting to see who they pass it on to :hmmmm2:
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by hopeful-lawyer)
Hi there. I am starting my law degree at Southampton soon so I have some questions. Should I begin looking into internships/mini-pupillages/vac schemes now?


Secondly, if I want to become a barrister should I bother doing vac schemes (for example for my CV or to make sure I don't want to become a solicitor)?


Lastly, I am not sure which area of law I want to practice in as I have not studied it. When I apply for internships/work experience should I apply for any area?


If I have posted this in the wrong area please could someone help me?
The opportunities for mini pupillages have become much more limited because of the pandemic, but there are still some opportunities out there that you can be looking at now, including virtual mini pupillages and other possibilities such as marshalling. I wouldn't worry if you don't manage to find anything because you do have plenty of time, but there's no harm in starting to look now.

If you know you want to become a barrister, there is no point in doing vac schemes for your CV, because they don't add anything to it for the purposes of applying for pupillage. If you are unsure whether you want to become a barrister or a solicitor and want to gain some more experience to help you make up your mind, vac schemes would be one way to do that and would of course be something that would be relevant for your CV if you decided to go down the solicitor route.

In terms of areas of law, yes, apply for any area and see how you get on. Chances are you have some sort of attraction to one or two areas for whatever reason, and if you do you might as well start there (my first mini pupillage was in crime, but I don't practise in crime now). But if you don't have a preference (or even if you do) your priority should be to gain a broad range of experience to better inform yourself when you do come to targeting particular areas further down the line. And again, there is a distinction here between what you need for your CV and what you need for you. Both are important. Somewhere around 3 to 5 mini pupillages in total is enough for your CV, but if you want to do more to gain more experience of different areas of law, you absolutely should. You don't have to put all of them on your CV, and not everything you do needs to be something relevant for your CV. There are plenty of valuable experiences out there that can help you to develop your skills and experience that will never make it on to your CV, but that doesn't mean you should ignore them. Quite the opposite. It's a combination of ticking boxes on your CV and gaining experience/developing skills in practice that will give you the best chance of getting you where you want to go.
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royalty1702
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(Original post by hopeful-lawyer)
Hi there. I am starting my law degree at Southampton soon so I have some questions. Should I begin looking into internships/mini-pupillages/vac schemes now?


Secondly, if I want to become a barrister should I bother doing vac schemes (for example for my CV or to make sure I don't want to become a solicitor)?


Lastly, I am not sure which area of law I want to practice in as I have not studied it. When I apply for internships/work experience should I apply for any area?


If I have posted this in the wrong area please could someone help me?
don't go into it just for the money. Actually like it
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Euphoria101
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(Original post by royalty1702)
don't go into it just for the money. Actually like it
I don't wanna be rude but that's quite a random comment, no?
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hopeful-lawyer
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(Original post by harrysbar)
Sorry to immediately pass the buck but I think better people to answer this question would be Crazy Jamie or Johnny ~
Thanks so much
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hopeful-lawyer
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
The opportunities for mini pupillages have become much more limited because of the pandemic, but there are still some opportunities out there that you can be looking at now, including virtual mini pupillages and other possibilities such as marshalling. I wouldn't worry if you don't manage to find anything because you do have plenty of time, but there's no harm in starting to look now.

If you know you want to become a barrister, there is no point in doing vac schemes for your CV, because they don't add anything to it for the purposes of applying for pupillage. If you are unsure whether you want to become a barrister or a solicitor and want to gain some more experience to help you make up your mind, vac schemes would be one way to do that and would of course be something that would be relevant for your CV if you decided to go down the solicitor route.

In terms of areas of law, yes, apply for any area and see how you get on. Chances are you have some sort of attraction to one or two areas for whatever reason, and if you do you might as well start there (my first mini pupillage was in crime, but I don't practise in crime now). But if you don't have a preference (or even if you do) your priority should be to gain a broad range of experience to better inform yourself when you do come to targeting particular areas further down the line. And again, there is a distinction here between what you need for your CV and what you need for you. Both are important. Somewhere around 3 to 5 mini pupillages in total is enough for your CV, but if you want to do more to gain more experience of different areas of law, you absolutely should. You don't have to put all of them on your CV, and not everything you do needs to be something relevant for your CV. There are plenty of valuable experiences out there that can help you to develop your skills and experience that will never make it on to your CV, but that doesn't mean you should ignore them. Quite the opposite. It's a combination of ticking boxes on your CV and gaining experience/developing skills in practice that will give you the best chance of getting you where you want to go.
Firstly, thanks so much.


Is it common to find mini-pupillages that are available for those in first year? My (admittedly limited) research so far has shown to me that most chambers only offer them to those in their penultimate or final year of study. Is there another type of work experience/internship I can find?


Next, that makes sense. I'm set on becoming a barrister so I'll focus my energy solely on work experience for that career field.


If 3-5 mini pupillages is good and I choose to practice criminal law, is 2 criminal and 1-3 other areas of law ok in terms of mini-pupillages?


Finally, my university emailed us with an opportunity to become a criminal court magistrate. Do you think this is worth it for me? My hesitation comes from the fact that I have to have at least 14 days free to do it which seems like a great commitment.


Again, thanks so much for your help!
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Crazy Jamie
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(Original post by hopeful-lawyer)
Firstly, thanks so much.


Is it common to find mini-pupillages that are available for those in first year? My (admittedly limited) research so far has shown to me that most chambers only offer them to those in their penultimate or final year of study. Is there another type of work experience/internship I can find?


Next, that makes sense. I'm set on becoming a barrister so I'll focus my energy solely on work experience for that career field.


If 3-5 mini pupillages is good and I choose to practice criminal law, is 2 criminal and 1-3 other areas of law ok in terms of mini-pupillages?


Finally, my university emailed us with an opportunity to become a criminal court magistrate. Do you think this is worth it for me? My hesitation comes from the fact that I have to have at least 14 days free to do it which seems like a great commitment.


Again, thanks so much for your help!
Yes, in normal times it's common to find mini pupillages that are available for first year undergraduates. I don't know whether things have changed in the last few months, but I was under the impression that most mini pupillages are limited to undergraduates rather than those in their final year. Either way when things get back to a semblance of normality (we're not really there yet for the Bar) I'd hope there would be more opportunities available. A good alternative is marshalling, which is work experience with a judge. You'd just have to email your local court (probably County Court) about that, but again opportunities may be limited on that at the moment.

That ratio of mini pupillages would be fine, but really it's all about what gives you sufficient experience to make an informed decision about which area of law you would like to practice in.

I'm torn on the magistrate question. On the one hand it would be a good opportunity to gain experience of criminal proceedings as an actual decision maker, which must have some value (and I don't think it's controversial to say that magistrates as a whole could really do with an injection of younger blood). At the same time, magistrates are not held in very high regard by most criminal barristers. It's not to say that all magistrates are bad at what they do by any means, but my overall impression of magistrates from the relatively short time that I did crime was not a good one, and that seems to be broadly shared with the criminal bar. So whilst the experience is clearly relevant, and you could certain develop relevant skills, I wouldn't want that to somehow be a double edged sword due to the interview panel's view of magistrates as a whole. It's a difficult one and I find it hard to predict how big a risk that would be. Kessler` actually does do criminal work and might have a more definitive view on that.
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Kessler`
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Hello all, just logged in to see Crazy Jamie's mention. I'll explain why in a bit more detail tomorrow, but basically Jamie has it right. DO NOT become a magistrate. You will likely cause yourself some issues later on and it will not do your career any real help.
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hopeful-lawyer
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(Original post by Crazy Jamie)
Yes, in normal times it's common to find mini pupillages that are available for first year undergraduates. I don't know whether things have changed in the last few months, but I was under the impression that most mini pupillages are limited to undergraduates rather than those in their final year. Either way when things get back to a semblance of normality (we're not really there yet for the Bar) I'd hope there would be more opportunities available. A good alternative is marshalling, which is work experience with a judge. You'd just have to email your local court (probably County Court) about that, but again opportunities may be limited on that at the moment.

That ratio of mini pupillages would be fine, but really it's all about what gives you sufficient experience to make an informed decision about which area of law you would like to practice in.

I'm torn on the magistrate question. On the one hand it would be a good opportunity to gain experience of criminal proceedings as an actual decision maker, which must have some value (and I don't think it's controversial to say that magistrates as a whole could really do with an injection of younger blood). At the same time, magistrates are not held in very high regard by most criminal barristers. It's not to say that all magistrates are bad at what they do by any means, but my overall impression of magistrates from the relatively short time that I did crime was not a good one, and that seems to be broadly shared with the criminal bar. So whilst the experience is clearly relevant, and you could certain develop relevant skills, I wouldn't want that to somehow be a double edged sword due to the interview panel's view of magistrates as a whole. It's a difficult one and I find it hard to predict how big a risk that would be. Kessler` actually does do criminal work and might have a more definitive view on that.
Are there any kind of online internships or anything you know of for aspiring barristers? I seem to only find ones for aspiring solicitors! I'll keep looking in that case for mini-pupillages for first-year students!


I'll definitely look into marshalling, thank you very much!


Thanks so much for tagging Kessler and for your advice. It completely makes sense. You've been very helpful, thank you again.:^_^:
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hopeful-lawyer
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(Original post by Kessler`)
Hello all, just logged in to see Crazy Jamie's mention. I'll explain why in a bit more detail tomorrow, but basically Jamie has it right. DO NOT become a magistrate. You will likely cause yourself some issues later on and it will not do your career any real help.
Thanks so much for your reply! I'll avoid it then:^_^:
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Mayataylor
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(Original post by hopeful-lawyer)
Are there any kind of online internships or anything you know of for aspiring barristers? I seem to only find ones for aspiring solicitors! I'll keep looking in that case for mini-pupillages for first-year students!


I'll definitely look into marshalling, thank you very much!


Thanks so much for tagging Kessler and for your advice. It completely makes sense. You've been very helpful, thank you again.:^_^:
I would also like to know this!
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Euphoria101
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Nevermind I noticed it's for first year students!

OP you could do the Clifford Chance virtual internship, I just deleted my question but it seems interesting
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