Ok so if getting a training contract requires extra skills how do law students get these’ extra skills’
Mature students by default bring with them a range of skills acquired from both life and careers but what about the straight from School law students , how can they develop extra skills necessary to place them ahead when competing for a training contract.
It’s not an easy answer but here are some suggestions for students embarking on a legal career or during their undergraduate years at university.
Ten Top Tips
1. Join an extra curriculum club at university. I joined several but the main one was the mature students association. It doesn’t have to be a ‘law ‘related club but what you can show a potential employer is your ability to work as a ‘team player’.
If you join the committee you can experience a whole range of challenging situations which can develop negotiating skills, motivating skill and managerial skills. Taking a position as secretary or treasures of any committee helps to fine tune business skills whilst enjoying what you do.
All clubs at university can help you develop these skills and you can grow your social circle too.
2. Join a ‘mooting’ club. I joined University of Glasgow’s Mooting club and had a fantastic time. I was able to learn invaluable mooting skills which gained approval from Lord Roger of Earl’s ferry and I was delighted to win the Dean’s Cup mooting competition in 2007 and collect a prize from The Faculty of Procurators and represent Glasgow in the Annual Sheriffs moot.
Mooting gave me excellent time management skills and developed my skills of persuasion and argument.
It was all lot of fun too.
3. Network – it’s never too early to start networking. Attend as many events advertised through your law school and Law society (many are free to students).Network on social media – Successful lawyers cannot see that you’re shy in the virtual world. Everyone is equal so it’s easier to ask questions of successful lawyers on twitter or Facebook than it is in ‘real life’
4. Build yourself a brand. If you have a love of family law or are passionate about Intellectual property Law follow specialist lawyers in these fields on twitter. You can learn so much from them and they are there to answer your questions and can direct you to great sources that you would not learn about in law school.
5. Connect with other law students not only in your class but in other universities and in other countries. All law students share a passion for law no matter what language we speak. We have the same challenges, deadlines, goals and passions and you never know that connection you make with a law firm in New York City may we be the firm you will undertake your training contract with in 3 years. A new project called legaleaglettes global will launch soon which will bring together legal professionals around the world. Follow @legaleaglettes for information of how to connect.
6. Work experience is really important and even just being in the environment of a law firm can give you knowledge you wouldn’t get at law school. I undertook a work placement with a criminal lawyer Amer Anwar and really enjoyed my placement.It also gave me something to talk about when I went for interviews.At @roadtrafficlaw we have law students who attend court and do legal research.get yourself down to your local court as often as you can and observe cases.
7. Confidence is important too and taking part in any events that can help you with your confidence skills such as debating, amateur dramatics or even public speaking can help.
8. Be careful about what you post on social media. Potential employers will check you’re on line presence so it’s important to think very carefully about what you post on Facebook and also have a look at your privacy settings.
9. Marketing – We all market ourselves; think about how your favourite band markets itself to you. Use all forms of marketing to get ‘your brand- YOU’ out there and create the right image for you.Linkedin is a good forum for recording your achievements and building up good connections with law firms you would like to work with.Twitter is a good way to start to market yourself.Start this early …..It can take time to build up a relationship with a firm and the import thing is to remember why you’re marketing yourself…..to get chosen, to be picked and to get that training contract.
10. Dont forget that normal everyday life can give you skills which you should emphasis. If you play sport or are involved in any groups or even love to cook tell your employer. The biggest task you have once you get your degree (after all the long hours in the library) will be to market YOURSELF and no-one will do this for Yourdon wait till 4th year start now- check list for all students once you matriculate:sign up to
I hope this is helpful and if you need any further advice email me firstname.lastname@example.org
ENJOY LAW-I DO