Over the past few weeks, we’ve enjoyed talking to those budding lawyers amongst you. And we know that many of you want to gain some legal work experience ahead of submitting applications and preparing for the LNAT. Oxbridge Applications’ Managing Director, Caroline Lindner, spent 10 years recruiting trainee solicitors on behalf of international law firms, based in the City of London. So, who better to advise you on ways in which to secure work experience? Here are Caroline’s top 5 tips:
1. Use your personal network. Family or friends may know people working within the legal sector. In my experience, people are generally happy to answer questions about their day-to-day experiences and their chosen career, so if you’re given a contact, make use of it.
2. Barristers vs. solicitors? It doesn’t really matter at this stage, to be honest, and universities and employers alike will be impressed if you have secured a day of work shadowing with either. Cast your net widely and write to a range of chambers and firms. Offering your services for free – or simply asking for an hour of a busy professional’s time – is probably the right approach.
3. Be realistic. People pay a lot of money for legal services, so firms and chambers won’t – and shouldn’t – give you lots of complicated tasks when you haven’t even studied Law! Be prepared to do filing, observe meetings and answer the telephone. You will impress if you have a ‘can do’ attitude to every task you are given, and ask intelligent questions to those around you. This may lead to further offers of work.
4. Targeting the right people. It’s often better to write to senior people at firms and chambers, as they will look at their post – or at least their team will! If you write a letter which demonstrates your willingness to learn about the profession and motivation for studying Law, then you may just persuade them to offer you some of their precious time. Note that I have recommended posting a letter! Don’t rely on email – fewer letters are sent these days and tend to stand out more.
5. Keep in touch. If you strike up a positive rapport with lawyers or barristers, and they ask you to keep in touch, remember to do this! They may offer you further advice and practical experience, all of which will prove invaluable when you get to university and start the process of securing a graduate job.
As well as building up your work experience, it is crucial that you are preparing for the LNAT exam, a compulsory part of your application and a key piece of information for admission tutors when deciding which applicants to interview. Attending one of our Admission Test Seminars on the 6th or 13th October will give you expert advice and guidance on how to tackle this vital step in your application process.
Get in touch at 02074992394 or [email protected] if you have any questions or would like to make a booking.