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What should a law student who wants to become a solicitor do in their first year?

I'm not totally sure on what career I'd like to pursue, but the most obvious option to me currently is a solicitor. I'll be going to a London uni to study Law, and I wanted to ask what I should do outside of my studies. I really don't know anything about law, what it's like to be a solicitor, etc. and what things I should do in my first year to make the best of opportunities. I was told an internship is something that I should definitely do. Is this something people do in their first year?
Reply 2
Original post by edfoeasol
I'm not totally sure on what career I'd like to pursue, but the most obvious option to me currently is a solicitor. I'll be going to a London uni to study Law, and I wanted to ask what I should do outside of my studies. I really don't know anything about law, what it's like to be a solicitor, etc. and what things I should do in my first year to make the best of opportunities. I was told an internship is something that I should definitely do. Is this something people do in their first year?


I would research into firms and then apply for open days and any first year schemes that the firms appealing to you offer. Applications for first year schemes can be very competitive with the Watson Glaser test and written elements so it's best to get in lots of preparation and practise. I've found the Commercial Law Academy to be very helpful with this. I just finished my first year of law school and LSE and will be going into second year soon and I do regret not applying to any first year schemes but it is not the be all and end all of becoming a solicitor so don't worry too much if you don't get your hands on an internship in first year :smile:
As said above apply for some first year schemes. Most of the applications for vac schemes from which many firms recruit trainees though will be in second year (and TC applications). All the deadlines are on law firm websites so you could make a chart and start thinking what which firms might be suitable for you.
I was able to get 2 weeks informal work experience in my home town after year 1 of my LLB in m,y home City (not in an area of law I wanted to do but it gave me an idea of what work in a law firm is and something to talk about). I also did moots during my LLB. In year 2 and 3 I volunteered in a legal advice clinic my university helped with. Getting good marks is also wise as big law firms have you list every mark in every single module in all years of your degree. Also try to join some clubs and have some positions of responsibility (and also have a good time at university too)
Original post by edfoeasol
I'm not totally sure on what career I'd like to pursue, but the most obvious option to me currently is a solicitor. I'll be going to a London uni to study Law, and I wanted to ask what I should do outside of my studies. I really don't know anything about law, what it's like to be a solicitor, etc. and what things I should do in my first year to make the best of opportunities. I was told an internship is something that I should definitely do. Is this something people do in their first year?


Hi there, congratulations on getting into law school.

I think for first year law, it is a good time to start your research and gain exposure to the legal career. Getting to know what fields of law interest you by research and attending open days can be quire helpful.

You can gain exposure to different areas of law by doing work experience, open days, and insight events. These will all give you a better idea of what it is like to work in a law firm.

For first year, also work hard to secure a good grade. This will help you when it comes to applying for vacation schemes in second year.

I hope this helps. :smile:
Chloe
University of Kent Student Rep
Just done my first year studying Law, mainly I'd say is to get good grades try to get a first as its so rare that if you can get one you are going to get a lot of attention. then just apply to schemes, any really, just apply apply apply.
Reply 6
Original post by intheimageofGOD
Just done my first year studying Law, mainly I'd say is to get good grades try to get a first as its so rare that if you can get one you are going to get a lot of attention. then just apply to schemes, any really, just apply apply apply.


Is it necessary to do these schemes in the summer following first year? Would it be bad to do none, instead doing them in second year instead?
Original post by edfoeasol
Is it necessary to do these schemes in the summer following first year? Would it be bad to do none, instead doing them in second year instead?


I mean just doing anything to stand out is key, think about it everyone has the good gcses good a levels so doing these schemes help make u different so try to do some its not the end of the world if u dont.
Reply 8
Original post by edfoeasol
Is it necessary to do these schemes in the summer following first year? Would it be bad to do none, instead doing them in second year instead?


The more work experience the better, and vac schemes can be incredibly competitive themselves so you need to maximise your opportunities - When I was studying I applied for around 15 vac schemes at law firms and was only successful for one of them!

I'd highly recommend applying in your first year, or if not ensure you are finding other solid legal work experience over the summer from other sources - having a number of vac schemes on your CV is a big advantage for those all important training contract interviews later down the line.
Original post by edfoeasol
I'm not totally sure on what career I'd like to pursue, but the most obvious option to me currently is a solicitor. I'll be going to a London uni to study Law, and I wanted to ask what I should do outside of my studies. I really don't know anything about law, what it's like to be a solicitor, etc. and what things I should do in my first year to make the best of opportunities. I was told an internship is something that I should definitely do. Is this something people do in their first year?


Hi @edfoeasol,

I think the best thing to do when starting in your law degree is get a real feel for the different areas and opportunities that each legal field offers. One of the best ways of doing this is through open days, workshops, online events and getting some work experience with different legal firms. Another great way to gain experience is through looking at the different opportunities your Law school offers you such as mooting, different law clinics etc.

If you aren't sure if you definitely want to be a Solicitor you could also look at the role of a Barrister by heading into Crown Court to witness some trials first hand (these are usually open to the public and free to attend)

I hope this has helped a bit and good luck!

Sophie :smile:

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