Getting the best careers advice
advisers may also be able to help organise work experience.
Competition for work experience, training contracts and pupillages is high, as are the costs and time demands of studying for legal qualifications, so it is important to have access to good careers advice. It’s never too early to seek careers advice. You really do need it from the very beginning in order to be in the know about careers fairs, open days, campus presentations and crucial work placement scheme/mini- pupillage deadlines. All the careers advisers that LawCareers.Net speaks to are incredibly committed people with the best interests of the students at heart; but some students do not use them as effectively as they could – make the most of the valuable services available to you at university, college or law school.
Claire Leslie, skills and careers adviser at The University of Law, says: “Your careers service should offer you the following: one-to-one advice to help you decide the direction you should take and when things need to be done; practical help and advice on applications and interviews; and opportunities to meet recruiters. If you are away from campus, you can usually get advice from your careers service by email, telephone or Skype. Use the extensive information available to you – it’s never too early to plan your legal career.” Puneet Tahim of diversity organisation Rare Recruitment advises playing to your university’s strengths: “If a university has a particularly active student law society that manages the recruitment events calendar and has an up-to-date website with information about firms and deadlines, you should become a member. Alternatively, you might attend a university where the careers service manages the events and have all of that information readily available.” Meanwhile, Andrew Pearson, a barrister at 7 King’s Bench Walk , advises trying to get help from those already in the legal profession: “Contacts are perhaps the most difficult, but the most useful people to talk to. When you’ve worked out the basics, ask your careers service whether they can put you in touch with someone who works in a field which interests you. The better the careers service, the more likely they are to be able to do so. This person will be able to give you very useful, focused advice. Make the most of it by working out what you want to know and by following up any help that you get with an appreciative email or note. That way they’ll be keen to help you again, or even to put you in touch with other people who might be able to give you advice or assistance.”
Available help Use every resource on offer at your
university/college careers service to make yourself as informed as possible. Careers service resources include: • details of law fairs with visiting firms of solicitors and postgraduate course providers, and law firm open days; • a programme of campus visits by firms; • workshops on applications/CVs and interview technique; • names of people in the profession who are willing to talk to you (eg, former students who are now practising law); • up-to-date files on employers; • information leaflets and brochures; • recruitment literature for firms and prospectuses for postgraduate courses; and • copies of the trade press and The LawCareers.Net Handbook to keep you abreast of the legal scene. Your adviser should also be able to give you some individual help with improving your CV, written applications and interview technique (eg, assisting with mock interviews). Careers
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