Take a look: The Lex 100
As good bargains go, vacation schemes stand out as amazing 3-for-1 deals: for just a few weeks of your time, you get to improve your resume, brush up your legal skills and, best of all, you can see first-hand what life’s truly like at your favourite law firm before committing to the full training contract experience.
Because we know a number of you are set on giving vacation schemes a try, we’ve put together a collection of relevant application deadlines to help you along.
Check out the Career Clinic while you’re on the website!
….a week’s work experience at Olswang!
I know you’re probably sick to the back teeth with essay writing but if you can manage just one more then the rewards could be well worth it!
Legal work experience is highly valued by recruiters and can sometimes be difficult to secure, especially in some of the more high profile firms. If you’re good at essay writing but maybe don’t have much to say on those dreaded vacation scheme applications then why not try your hand at an essay writing competition to try to secure some work experience at leading firm, Olswang? There’s also a chance to shadow at Matrix Chambers, visit The Guardian newspaper’s offices and spend time at the UKSC. What are you waiting for?
In my last post I talked about how you can get legal work experience by approaching law firms and Chambers directly.
You can also strengthen your legal work experience by carrying out pro bono work and there are various options to do this.
Brunel Law School has an opportunity to get involved in pro bono work with David Rosen, who is Head of Litigation at Darlingtons Solicitors and visiting Associate Professor here at Brunel. Contact Paul Richards in the UG office for more information.
You could also apply to carry out work experience with a Citizens Advice Bureau (and potentially get six months off a training contract!). Here’s a previous post from Alison Taylor, the Law Placement Officer here at the PCC for more information about that.
Then there’s Law Works, another charity which connects those who are in need of legal advice but cannot pay for it with those who can offer legal advice for free. Again, take a look at a previous post of mine for more information.
And for Level 3, CPE, LLM students and graduates, there are opportunites with the Free Representation Unit. Guess what? There’s a previous post about it!
And, if that’s not enough for you to get on with, here are a couple of other links to places where you can find pro bono opportunities:
I think that covers it for now….
A well-rounded candidate wishing to enter the legal profession needs to have a balance of three key areas in order to attract the attention of the recruiters. Ideally you’ll be able to show excellent academics, have legal work experience and be able to demonstrate you have outside interests and activities.
Let’s focus for a moment on the legal work experience. Many of my students feel that there are just two options for getting this experience: either a vacation scheme at a top city firm or a couple of weeks shadowing at a local high street firm.
Having not made the cut onto the vacation schemes (January deadlines for a start the following summer!) students often find themselves traipsing around their local high street, handing out CVs to local firms who may or may not need a helping hand for a week during the holidays and this high street traipse often bears no fruit.
This is not the only way to gain solid work experience. Law Works is a pro bono charity which connects those who need legal advice but can’t afford to pay for it with those who can offer the advice on a no-cost basis.
The term ‘pro-bono’, by the way, comes from the Latin ‘pro bono publico’, meaning ‘for the public good’ and applies to any professional service which is offered for free to those in need.
Law Works provides opportunities for students to get some valuable (and well respected) work experience. Take a look at their latest opportunities.
Southwark Law Centre, based in Peckham, is interested in recruiting volunteers for one or two days a week.
Law Centres are not-for-profit legal practices providing free legal advice and representation to disadvantaged people. To find out more about what they do take a look at www.lawcentres.org.uk/
To find out more about the work at Southwark, see southwarklawcentre.org.uk/
and if you are interested please email Flozel Webley for an application pack: Flozel.Webley@southwarklawcentre.org.uk
Working in the government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change as a Legal Advisor, Jeremy Easton, a former Brunel student, tells us what it takes to succeed in this competitive field.
LLM, 3rd year LLB students and LLB graduates may be interested in volunteering for the FRU.
See lawcareers.net for an honest view on the importance of getting legal experience whilst you are on your degree.
There are over 21,500 volunteers involved in the Citizens Advice service, performing a wide range of roles.
Attention all law students: If you train as a CAB adviser, you can get up to six months off your solicitor training contracts!
If you are interested in volunteering, fill out your details on the enquiry form and your chosen Citizens Advice Bureau will contact you to discuss available opportunities.
If you have questions about CAB volunteering see our Volunteering FAQs
“I get a real feeling of satisfaction from making a difference, especially for people less able to stand up for their rights.” Sheila, Stretford CAB
Without our trained volunteer advisers we could not continue to meet the demand for advice. Our generalist advice service looks at a client’s situation holistically as opposed to looking at their problems in isolation from one another. Advisers are given free training, both formal and on-the-job. As a CAB adviser you would:
- interview clients
- help them negotiate with people such as creditors or service providers
- draft letters
- make phone calls on their behalf
- refer them to other agencies
- represent them in court and at tribunals.