As it has reached that time of year where people are going back to university, or starting university for the first time, I wanted to share with you the things that I wish I had known before I started my degree in hope that it will help some of you as you go through your degree.
Make the most of careers/networking events.
These types of events can create so many opportunities for you, and can really make the difference when it comes to securing a graduate job or work experience. I have attended every networking event that my university offered, and external events too, and found them to be so helpful!
In terms of legal work experience, I have completed 5 mini-pupillages. 4 of these have been secured through networking, rather than a formal application. This just highlights the importance of putting yourself out there and making opportunities for yourself, as they are there to be had!
Practical modules are your friend.
We studied a module called ‘lawyers’ skills’ which pretty much everybody hated due to its practical nature. However, this module literally equipped us with the skills that we need to be successful lawyers. We covered, and had a go at, things like mooting, client interviewing, writing up case notes, and general legal research. These are skills that will be fundamental to your career as a lawyer, so don’t shy away from them! Take the time to practice them, and make your mistakes now, so that in the future when you need to be top of your game, you already have those skills nailed!
Keep an open mind when choosing optional modules.
So many people told me this, and I didn’t listen. I went into my degree with my heart set on a career as a family law barrister, and that’s what my modules centred on. I couldn’t think of anything worse than employment law, or commercial law, or anything of the sort. I didn’t think I needed to pay attention when people said “When you’re a solicitor, you will need to….” because that wasn’t my career path. Except now, I’ve had a change of career path. I am applying to commercial law firms, with my heart set on a role in employment law, and suddenly I regret my decision not to pick a wider range of optional modules.