Your biggest priority in your first year should be getting to grips with the degree and understanding how you can navigate a healthy work/life balance. However, should you be interested in exploring the various career paths that are open to you, there are many opportunities available for first year students.
You can apply for ‘spring schemes’ in companies across various industries (law, banking, and the public sector) to get a feel as to what specific careers entail. These schemes tend to involve shadowing, application workshops, and networking — all of which should help you figure out what you are looking for in a future career.
Second and Third Year
A lot of students choose to make career applications during this period of their degree. For some, it will involve vacation scheme or training contract applications while others may pursue mini-pupillages or pupillages. Other groups may choose to make applications for graduate schools while there are also a number who search for careers away from the legal profession. Regardless of the category that you fall into, the LSESU Law Society can and will support you through the process. We host various events across the year focusing on all these career paths and will do our best to make sure that all our students are aware of the options available to them!
Be organised - keep a tab on application deadlines and law firm workshops
Use your time wisely - you’re never going to be able to attend everything, so do you research and be particular about what you attend
Never copy and paste! - Applications are extremely long and the temptation to copy and paste from one to another is overwhelming - DON’T DO IT - applications need to be particularly suited to the firm you apply, doing this is only a waste of your time.
Don’t beat yourself up - First-year placements are extremely competitive and there are many more opportunities to come. If you don’t get in first time round, keep persevering!
Get involved - recruiters want more than just a 2:1 - show them how you manage your time and responsibilities by getting involved with extracurricular activities like volunteering, playing a sport and/or musical instrument, being on a society committee etc.
Don’t leave things until the last minute - applying to a firm on the application deadline date doesn’t give the right first impression, show them that you’re interested by using your initiative and sending your application in plenty of time
Don’t lose sight of what’s important - you came to university to get a degree, always keep in mind that your studies should be your priority!
BE YOURSELF - pretending to be someone you’re not in an interview might not be hard, but pretending to be someone you’re not at work for the rest of your life will be impossible - if a firm takes you for who you are, its the right place for you.
Ask questions! - utilise your relationship with your law family - they have been through the process first-hand and will happily give you invaluable advise!
First Year Schemes:
Career Paths in Law generally: