By Samar Mohammed
Chances are, you’ve stumbled across this article because you’re interested in a career in law.
A legal career often means different things to different people, for instance:
helping those facing adversity or injustice;
working in a challenging and intellectually stimulating environment;
having an abundance of networks and the ability to connect with individuals from all walks of life;
assisting and driving present and future change in the legal and business landscape; or
benefiting from numerous perks (you know, the fancy offices, swanky dinners and high-flying pay cheques!)
However, the one thing that most aspiring and current solicitors have in common is a deeper desire to learn.
A career in law means that you are constantly learning, adapting and chasing change and growth. Our industry prevents us from sitting still and waiting as the tide passes. Instead, we’re the fearless surfers that ride the wave in confidence on our descent to the other side.
So, how do you get into such an exciting and engaging career? Here are my top tips on how to kick-start your legal journey:
1. Work Experience.
Many law firms and businesses often offer shadowing and work experience placements to those in secondary school and onwards. Take a look at their websites for more information or send out some speculative applications to firms and companies that you find interesting.
IMPORTANT TIP: address your speculative application to a specific person (i.e. the graduate recruitment team, a named recruiter you have found via your research, or a chosen partner at the firm) to make it more personal.
In our current technological age, we have plenty of resources around us. Therefore, you have no excuse not to do a quick Google search to find a selection of books that might peak your interest. My recommendations would be “Letters to a Law Student” by Nicholas J. McBride, and “Stories of the Law and How it's Broken” by The Secret Barrister.
NOTE: Podcasts are a great alternative too! I would recommend “Future Lawyers”, “Lawyer 2 Lawyer”, and especially “The Gen Why Lawyer”.
3. Social Media.
Social Media, particularly LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter are a great way to network with legal professionals, trainees and paralegals. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask them any questions you have about a career in law.
4. Voluntary experience.
While large organisations may have age restrictions, small to medium-
sized organisations (such as Citizens Advice) are always seeking volunteers. For further resources on volunteering and pro bono opportunities, check out https://www.thelawyerportal.com/free-guides/law-work-experience/pro-bono/
5. Mentoring and Access Schemes.
Actively look for Mentoring and Access Schemes run by law firms and organisations such as Aspiring Solicitors, RARE, Pathways to Law, Prime, Pure Potential and Social Mobility Foundation.
These are just a few tips to help you navigate your interest in law and bring you one step closer to riding that legal wave!