The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

pupillage. I would strongly advise anyone applying for pupillage to do several mini- pupillages – particularly at the sets they might end up applying to. My favourite mini-pupillage was at the set where I ultimately ended up doing pupillage and getting tenancy.” Alternative experience Those who aren’t lucky enough to get a place on one of the formalised programmes must be resourceful. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get a place, but you will have to take the initiative and create opportunities for yourself. Lucie Rees, graduate manager at Watson Farley & Williams, says: “All experience is relevant and shapes you into the person you are. Firms are looking for well- rounded candidates and experience in a variety of areas will help with this. All the work experience you have will build your knowledge and transferable skills – it’s how you then choose to make it work for you on your application form that counts.” Puneet Tahim at Rare Recruitment agrees: “Non-legal work experience can be incredibly valuable to students in terms of developing their wider skill sets. Where they can sometimes let themselves down is not really thinking about using it in their application forms to sell themselves. Rather, they need to take the time to explain what they were doing, the skills they developed and how these will be useful to them in a career in law.” Andy Creer, barrister at Hardwicke Chambers, adds: “We recognise that people have different opportunities according to their socioeconomic backgrounds. It is therefore more important to demonstrate what you have got out of your work experience, than what you have done per se.”

focused on the acquisition of a beverage company. We had to identify issues that the client may face and through analysing contracts and documents, such as articles of association and produced a summary that was assessed. “I gained a great insight into the firm beyond what I had been previously exposed to. I was able to get a first-hand feel of the culture, witness how the firm operates and the ways in which practice areas interlink. Everyone I met on the scheme was friendly and willing to find out more about me, and I could really see the firm’s values in the people that worked there. Through the project and work I completed, I was able to develop my commercial awareness. I could see how different components came together in a transaction.” Cail Wyn Evans completed his vacation scheme at Mayer Brown in Spring 2019. He shares this advice: “Have the confidence to be the best version of yourself. It can be difficult when you’re in a high pressure and unfamiliar environment, but being comfortable in yourself is essential to producing the best quality work and making the best possible impression. Once you are comfortable in the environment, you’re able to make the most of the experience and transparently assess whether you are a match with a firm.” Mini-pupillage: case study One barrister-to-be says of his mini- pupillage experiences: “Mini-pupillages were an invaluable part of the pupillage application process. By doing them, I was able to get a proper feel for the work that a chambers did and the set’s atmosphere. Mini-pupillages (though they are often unassessed) also give chambers the opportunity to have a look at you and see whether you could be a good candidate for


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