Rachel is a final-year law student who commutes to her University. She was a awarded a First in both her first and second year and hopes to continue this into her third year. Alongside studying, she runs a legal blog, ‘Just a girl in the legal world’ and works a weekend job. She aspires to be a Commercial City lawyer.
If you are reading this I assume you are interested in a career in law, good choice! (although I may be biased). Being a lawyer is about much more than signing documents and reading laws; it is about advocating someone’s needs or wishes, developing strong inter-personal relationships and fighting for your client. For me, law provides me with the opportunity to connect with a variety of people, be intellectually challenged and be involved in a little bit of drama!
The Different Routes into Law
I wish I could sit here and tell you exactly what you need to do to become a successful lawyer, but it doesn’t work like that. There are many different routes into law, which I think is one of the most beautiful things about law: there is something for everyone.
The route options available are:
Don’t worry if you haven’t done a law degree but still want to become a lawyer, if you complete a Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) in between your degree and LPC you will still be able to qualify.
The Application Process
Applying to University is made fairly simple by a lovely service called UCAS; unfortunately there is no similar service once you reach University. I don’t want to lie to you and say that the application process for law is easy, because it’s not. It can be repetitive, overwhelming and disappointing. That being said, I think it is important to understand that once you know how to apply and what they are looking for it becomes much easier, and that’s what I am here for!
Firstly, you need to know what to apply for:
Secondly, you need to know when to apply:
Thirdly, how to apply:
(Note. You can be offered a training contract through a vacation scheme and some firms only recruit through vacation schemes)
Finding What is Right for You
The only way you are going to find the route/area of law that suits you best is through research and hands-on experience. It can be difficult deciding what is right for you, and you may not find your area until later on in your career but it is good to have a general understanding of where you see yourself working.
You can gain this type of understanding from:
My tips for success
I am by no means an expert in the legal industry, and I actually created my blog in response to me feeling I had let myself down. I was naïve and I didn’t understand the application process for vacation schemes and training contracts, which meant I missed many deadlines for firms I was interested in. I had applied for vacation schemes, and had gotten into the final stage of a few, before COVID struck and they were all cancelled. This left me feeling as though I hadn’t achieved what I was supposed to in my second year.
After a bit of self-pity and a few tears, I realised that there is no ‘correct’ route into law. I realised my career wasn’t over just because I didn’t get a training contract in my second year like you are ‘supposed’ to. Therefore, I made it my mission to make my summer as productive as possible. I took part in a number of virtual internships, commercial awareness workshops and competitions, signed up for extra responsibilities on campus and created my blog. This blog is a way for me to not only enhance my CV but also to share my tips in the hope that I can help other aspiring lawyers.
So, my top tips for you guys are:
I hope you guys have found this useful, and I wish you the best of luck in whatever you choose to do.
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