Thanks to Hedges Law for these great tips for anyone looking to pursue a career in law.
1. BE DEDICATED.
If you are an aspiring lawyer, be prepared for some seriously tough competition ahead. The supply of prospective solicitors and barristers vastly outweighs the demand for training contracts and pupillages respectively. This is not to say that you should let the competition scare you off, nor become resigned to being another statistic, but you will need dedication to succeed. And the earlier you can start, the better.
2. BE INFORMED.
Is law for you? Many firms, when interviewing candidates for the all-important Solicitor’s Training Contract, will ask not only “why did you pick us?”, but also “why should we pick you?” You will need to be able to give a convincing answer to this question! That answer needs to be genuine, or you will very quickly be found out. Candidates who cannot answer why they want a job with a particular law firm, or cannot answer why they should be picked out of the rest of the bunch, will be given short shrift in the interview process. Legal work experience or an internship is undoubtedly the best way of finding out if law is for you.
3. BE SPECIFIC.
Don’t try to be all things to all men, but find out what it is you want to do, what you need to do to get there, and then set about doing it. Don’t take the ‘scattergun’ approach of applying to 1000 law firms. Carry out research into the kind of firms and the kind of areas of law that you think you will be interested in.
4. BE INTERESTING!
Law firms, barristers’ chambers, and prospective employers are all looking for more than a straight-A student. There is so much about the job that is to do with being “personable” and likeable – who you are should form an integral part of your personal sales pitch. This often also applies to getting into the top universities. So keep up your hobbies, extracurricular activities, languages as these are likely to contribute to an potential employer will want to invest in you over your competition.
5. DO I NEED A LAW DEGREE?
It’s worth pointing out that many firms appreciate candidates who have a non-law degree. It can show that you have non-legal expertise that may bring something different. That said, if you enjoy the academic aspect of law, and don’t think it will put you off a career in the law(!), the LLB might be just what you need. It’s not that one route is better than the other, but don’t feel that reading a non-law degree will exclude you from an exciting legal future.
6. BE SMART.
This extends beyond achieving good grades, but grades are a good place to start to help get the best university place possible, and in applying for training contracts or pupillages. You should also be savvy about using your achievements to provide evidence, on your CV or at interview, of your ability to do the job of a lawyer.
7. BE PERSISTENT.
The road to becoming a lawyer may take a lot longer than you may realise. You may be in a position where you receive rejections from law firms, and this can be disheartening. The important thing to do is always ask for feedback from firms so you are able to improve your applications; improve your interview skills, and in turn improve your chances of getting that training contract.
Hedges Law is proud to run an Essay Competition linked to our Internship programme. The goal of the competition, which is open to pupils up to and including Year 13, from schools in Oxfordshire and surrounding counties, is to compete for the prize of an exciting Internship at Hedges Law.
Hedges Law Essay Competition 2016/17 is now live ! For a copy of the essay question and details of who can apply, check out our website: www.hedgeslaw.co.uk/site/careers/internship/
Hedges Law, 13 Beaumont Street, Oxford OX1 2LP