Law graduates – advice on getting training contracts
It is widely known that the environment for all graduates is a highly competitive one, and this is no different in Law. With a rise in the number of individuals continuing with higher education, the completion of a Law degree does not automatically guarantee that you will be offered a training contract with a firm.
Despite this, firms are hiring, and therefore it is essential that you stand out within this market. There are a number of things that you can do to enhance your chances of securing the contract you want. The following tips will set you apart from the rest:
1) Work experience
It is important to have more than just your academics on your applications, and it is therefore vital to utilise summer breaks as much as possible. This can be any form of work experience, placement or internship. Summer vacation schemes provide valuable experience, and firms often use these as a way to identify talent.
Message firms within your area and try to get a foot in the door, as this will give you key skills and an understanding of how law firms operate.
2) Extracurricular activities
Whilst at University, get involved in societies and events that can give you more exposure to the legal environment. Whether this be with a Law Society or a debate team, it will demonstrate passion outside of your academics.
3) Build Networks
When looking for opportunities, it is important to be proactive. Use platforms such as LinkedIn to engage with law professionals. Pick up the phone – even if you don’t get placements from this, you will still make connections who can offer insight into the industry.
You will need to get out there and seize the opportunities.
Take care with your applications. Ensure you get these in early, as this is a real advantage. Also do your research prior to submission. Having met an abundance of law firms, no two are the same, and therefore neither should your applications be identical.
When meeting people, do the basics well; a smile, being polite and a handshake go a long way. To ensure you stand out, engage in conversation with the lawyers you are meeting. Prepare yourself by being up date on current affairs within the industry, and be prepared to comment on them.
5) The world outside of London
The UK offers extensive opportunities that are not merely limited to one city. Top firms have offices have all round the country. Many highly regarded regional leading firms will also give you all the same skills and opportunities, so be prepared to broaden your search.
It is important that you keep trying and persevering with your search. Securing the contract that is right for you will take time, so you have to be prepared to remain positive and patient. Approach each application and meeting with 100% commitment.
As a recruiter, I am aware of the vast opportunities that exist around the country, but it is also very competitive, and so you will need to work hard to achieve your goals.
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