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University has rolled around again, and with it a new cohort of students who may be considering a career in law for the first time. Let’s go back to basics and fire some simple opening questions to our Expert panel.
As someone who has recently qualified as a solicitor, I would say you should keep two things in mind when considering a career in the law:
(1) the training is linear, it's clear how you progress from one stage to another and it gives you invaluable transferable skills. By virtue of completing the LPC (and perhaps the GDL) and a two-year training contract, you are given some of the best vocational training I could imagine. You are genuinely growing and improving every day and you're mentored by senior lawyers who are keen to help you develop. You will forge excellent working relationships with your peers, supervisors and clients and this, in itself, is very rewarding.
We have a section on our application form where applicants are able to provide us with information they feel is relevant, which they haven't already included in their application. This is the perfect place for applicants to discuss the details of their academic work, such as dissertation topics, essay assignments or thesis papers.
Yes! Particularly at interview stage this becomes very relevant. Please be prepared to talk about your degree in detail. Why did you choose the subject? What have you enjoyed the most? If you can talk about a module, exam or essay question with intelligence and interest, you can show off many of the core competencies law firms are looking for: intellect, communication skills, analytical skills and persuasive skills to name a few. It's even better if you can relate your example to the business or legal worlds.
In general, "all experience is good experience". However, with the competitive nature of the application process not all work experience will directly translate into securing a training contract. It will however, provide a variety of skills that you can showcase in your applications and be utilised in your future career.