The Student Room Group

Gaining legal experience pre-PGDL

Hi guys. Recently I’ve been considering a change of career - I’d like to study Law, via a conversion course (PGDL). However, I have a few doubts, and don’t know how to go about it.
For background, I achieved a good/high 2:1 Arts degree from an RG uni and decent A-Levels, so was hoping to get a scholarship from one of the Inns of Court to cover my course fees. The only issue is - I don’t have any legal experience! Aside from a stint working for a law course provider, I’ve been doing nothing but working in admin for two years, and unfortunately was too socially anxious in uni to get involved in societies much. I was a committee member in my third year and have done some unrelated volunteer work, but I doubt this will show enough of a commitment to the Bar, and scholarships are so competitive!! As I’m 23 and can’t afford/don’t have time to volunteer much, I’m not sure what I can do to show my interest in Law, advocacy skills etc!! I plan to take part in mooting and pro-bono work if I get onto the PGDL, but as I don’t have much legal knowledge I don’t think I can do those at the moment. All I can think of doing is visiting courts to watch trials etc, or volunteering for Citizens Advice (have already applied). Does anyone have any advice?
Hi,
You could check out the legal cheek, BVL, SMBP or young professionals that provide many opportunities to network and get some exposure to top law firms. I am not sure if SMBP do anything for graduates I may be wrong but definitely give it a shot if you want to boost your CV before applying for TC's
Original post by shovelkun
Hi guys. Recently I’ve been considering a change of career - I’d like to study Law, via a conversion course (PGDL). However, I have a few doubts, and don’t know how to go about it.
For background, I achieved a good/high 2:1 Arts degree from an RG uni and decent A-Levels, so was hoping to get a scholarship from one of the Inns of Court to cover my course fees. The only issue is - I don’t have any legal experience! Aside from a stint working for a law course provider, I’ve been doing nothing but working in admin for two years, and unfortunately was too socially anxious in uni to get involved in societies much. I was a committee member in my third year and have done some unrelated volunteer work, but I doubt this will show enough of a commitment to the Bar, and scholarships are so competitive!! As I’m 23 and can’t afford/don’t have time to volunteer much, I’m not sure what I can do to show my interest in Law, advocacy skills etc!! I plan to take part in mooting and pro-bono work if I get onto the PGDL, but as I don’t have much legal knowledge I don’t think I can do those at the moment. All I can think of doing is visiting courts to watch trials etc, or volunteering for Citizens Advice (have already applied). Does anyone have any advice?

Hi @shovelkun

Firstly, although it is a very competitive process and the Inns do want to see a commitment to the bar, they understand that before you have done your GDL you will not have necessarily had lots of opportunities to get legal experience. Saying that, there are some easy ways to quickly boost your CV and show an interest in pursuing a career at the bar. I would recommend looking at whether you can sign up to any speed moot or plea in mitigation competitions as these usually do not take much prep beforehand and are completed in one day so it won't take lots of your time. Alongside that, I would look at applying for some mini pupillages and seeing if you can get any legal experience through shadowing.

I hope this helps a bit and good luck!
(edited 1 month ago)

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