Want The Edge? Know Your Market….

In a previous post, trainee solicitor Mark Pentecost shared his views on how to break into the legal profession as a mature student.

Well the good news is that many of his comments apply to all law students, particularly the part where he describes the necessity to know your market. If you already know all there is to know about the legal market then please don’t read on to see what Mark has to say about how gaining a working knowledge of the industry helped him to secure his training contract….

Understanding the market and how law firms operate was another obstacle. The CPE followed by a part-time LPC did give me 4 years in which to learn about the legal market place and all its idiosyncrasies. I needed all of that time. I realised very early on that I knew next to nothing about how the legal market place works or how law firms are run. This is not something you “pick up” on a GDL/ CPE or the LPC so I devoured the legal press every week and interrogated anyone and everyone I knew who worked at a law firm. A thorough understanding of how law firms make money was invaluable when I got to interviews.

What is the legal press Mark’s referring to? Essential (and free online) reading for law students is Lawyer2B (The Lawyer’s sister title for aspiring solicitors and barristers). It’s also useful to subscribe to Legal Week to get industry news delivered straight to your inbox. Then there’s The Law Gazette and the blog RollOnFriday. When it comes to standing out from amongst your peers it’s not just who you know….

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