Breaking Into The Legal Sector – Get A Head Start From An Early Age

by markj on May 10, 2012

The following article is a guest post by M Jackson of studyinglaw.co.uk. The site is dedicated to providing general advice and information to students & school leavers wanting a job in law.

Start early – get work experience

Getting a job in the legal sector can be hard. This is regardless of whether you want to be a solicitor, barrister or legal secretary. It’s just so competitive. But if you’re about to start college, or are still in secondary school (or know someone who is) there are a number of things you can do to vastly increase your chances of getting a job / training contract.

Just think; how many people will have any sort of legal work experience in secondary school? Surely not many. Even getting a weeks worth of experience in your local solicitors firm can be very valuable. Future employers will see that you have had an interest in the law from an early age, and actually took the initiative to make sure you enjoyed working within the legal sector. Also, if you plan on going to university, this can greatly help in your application to the law school of your choice for the same reasons. Even if you’re in college and about to apply for a university position it’s not too late to pick up some experience. Even 2 days work experience will set you apart from the majority of other applicants. Or even just asking your local solicitor a few questions about working in the legal sector will help. It’s better than nothing. You should aim to have at least one piece of extra curricular legal experience on your CV when apply for a university position / job.

Networking – you don’t ask you don’t get!

As the saying goes; “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know”. Unfortunately this is very true in the legal sector. But why not use this to your advantage? Do your parents or family members know a solicitor? Then ask to set up a meeting with them. This could lead to work experience or even a job. You could also try asking a tutor at college or high school – tell them about your passion for the law and they may be able to use their contacts to help you. If you don’t have any luck using those methods you can always try social networking like linkedin. You could contact a local solicitor in your area and explain that you are very interested in a job in law. Your initiative, confidence and ambition could impress them.

A great position

If you get some work experience, and have made a few contacts, you should find yourself in a much better position than the majority of people. You could even open up the possibility of getting a vacation scheme before university (if you have good A level results). If you want to become a solicitor this would make getting a training contract much easier. If you know you want to work in the legal sector take action now. It’s never too early. It will really be an investment in your future.

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