Finding Work Experience

It’s not an easy job coming across a work placement, secondment, ‘vac’ scheme – what with thousands of other like-minded students trying to find just that. I have been so lucky as to secure three placements for summer; and here’s how I did it.

Attending your nearest law fair is absolutely essential; it’s good for getting your name out and getting an idea of the industry you will soon be entering. But it’s also an opportunity for work experience, so turn up prepared. A CV and cover letter to hand will serve you well. If you have the chance, get to know which firms will be exhibiting at the fair and try to get some specific cover letters for those firms showing some background research into what exactly they do. If like me you’re keeping your options open, mail-merge could come in handy for creating personalised cover letters for each firm. You never know, you just might get a phone call a few weeks later with an offer for work! Find out more here.

Get to know the Graduate Retention & Employability Officer for your faculty. Now I don’t mean sitting down to afternoon tea, but know who they are, keep an eye out for their communication, and apply for everything they give you. Any experience is invaluable and will come in handy when you go to apply for training contracts.

Communicate with your faculty staff, especially your module leader and personal tutor. Both of mine are currently practicing solicitors, and I should hope this be the case for most law tutors in the institutions across the country. Point being, they know what they’re talking about and they are a very valuable source of information when it comes to leaping in to the legal sector. If it’s a CV being looked over or just advice about what tie to wear, a little advice can go along way.

Also, don’t be put off by rejection. Rome wasn’t built in a day is the phrase that keeps me going. I wish you all the best!

Volunteering with VictimSupport

Victim-Support-logoWork placements are difficult for any law student to find in such an overly saturated industry. But what I learnt only a few months ago is that any work experience in a team dynamic will definitely boost your applications to any vacation schemes or secondments; and even more so if it’s unpaid work.

Victim Support is a non-profit organisation funded by the Police and Crime Commissioners, which provides a free and confidential service to anyone affected by crime in the country. There case workers are trained in areas from domestic violence to hate crime. Most of the ground work is carried out by their volunteers, and they can’t do the job without us.

I have been volunteering for VS for three months now, and already I have met victims of criminal damage, assault and actual bodily harm. Not only is it engaging my knowledge of criminal law, but developing my listening skills and problem-solving skills. There will always be needs that must be identified to ensure proper service delivery.

I suppose managing case loads and pages and pages of confidential information is not so different from working in a law firm after all. Except we’re paid in that warm and fuzzy inside feeling rather than a 5 figure salary.

Anyway – if you are interested in helping out, Victim Support is regularly taking on board new-starters. Click here to see how you can help.


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