Getting the best careers advice
your careers service comes in. We can help and guide you right from the beginning – don’t think that you can only go and see an adviser if you already know what you want to do! Obviously, we’re also there to help at the next stage of actually applying: targeting, CVs/ forms and interview technique.” Dick’s top tips are as follows: “Not only make sure that your writing is clear and grammatically correct in your application, but also provide actual evidence for your statements, be yourself at interview and be honest at all times.” Got what it takes? A careers adviser should give you honest and constructive feedback. One London barrister agrees on its importance: “Students should think about whether they stand a realistic chance of obtaining pupillage and forging a career at the Bar. If not, they should seriously consider whether it is worth undertaking a Bar course, with its attendant costs.” To secure a training contract or pupillage you must have the following qualities and skills: • Academic ability – the job is intellectually rigorous and demands clear and lucid analysis, and the ability to learn and process and large amounts of information. Most top-paying employers require at least a 2.1 degree and excellent A-level grades. • Interpersonal skills – it is vital that you can interact with colleagues and clients alike to engender confidence, form lasting relationships and clearly explain complex situations. • Communication skills (written and verbal) – lawyers spend much of their time talking to clients and drafting documents. The use of clear and succinct language is appreciated by all. • Personal responsibility and integrity – be true to yourself and ensure your conduct is always professional and ethical. But academic ability and great communication skills are not enough on their own – you also need to show that you are commercially
A significant number of students come to the legal profession as career changers . In the first instance, they should contact their local university and see whether they can get careers advice under the mutual aid scheme. Most universities are happy to provide any graduate with a period of assistance – in some cases, up to three years. They may find the careers service particularly useful in terms of obtaining tailored advice on ways to present previous experience to the greatest effect. Access valuable information and advice on a wide range of legal recruitment and study issues on LawCareers.Net. Head to ‘TheOracle’ section of the site - as its name suggests, this is home to lots of advice and wisdom.
Common advice Dates and deadlines
Stay clued-up about on-campus events and application deadlines. Laura Newton, a barrister at Brick Court Chambers , says: “Use your university/law school website as a first port of call. You will be able to stay on top of events and deadlines by setting up a Twitter account and following accounts such as LawCareers.Net, Pupillage & How to Get It, your career advice centres and the sets or firms you are interested in.” Puneet says: “It’s pretty simple these days to keep on top of deadlines and events, as most firms will heavily publicise these on their own websites as well as on the university careers websites.” Don’t rush Dick Lidwell, freelance careers adviser and former careers adviser at the University of Oxford , advises against panicking if you are still uncertain as to which legal path to take: “If you’re not sure whether it’s a barrister or solicitor you want to be, don’t rush into it. Take the time to explore; you can always come into the system a bit later. There’s no point applying until you know, and this is where
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