It’s summer and every law student is doing the same thing. Tracking down a law graduate job and wrestling it into submission. We have the utmost confidence in you, law students. No-one out there works harder or is more dedicated to their course (okay, maybe those pesky medicine students).
Allow us then to give you some sage advice. The chase to a law graduate job is long and arduous. May these tips ensure that your hunt bears fruit.
Looking for a job is a full time job
We probably don’t need to tell you that looking for a training contract is insanely competitive. To cope with the amount of applications they’re getting every day, firms are often highly selective with what applications they even look at. Unfortunately, non-Oxbridge applicants or those without super-high grades tend to have a tougher time. If that’s you, it’s a good idea to reach out to as many places as you can. Block out an amount of time every day, just to work on your CV and application. You’ll be thankful later.
Solicitors, secure the position early
To all my would-be solicitors out there, take note. Just like we said above, there are a lot of you. You don’t want to get left in the lurch after doing your Legal Practice Course, only to find that there’s nothing waiting for you. If you can, secure a Training Contract first (you can apply up to 2 years in advance). Even better, be sure to do plenty of internships and vacation schemes in the run up to final year and enquire about sponsorship from potential employers if you’re worried about those huge fees.
Demonstrate your knowledge outside of law
It probably hurts you a lot to read that, having read 100 seemingly endless law books but it’s true. To get a law graduate job, you’ll need an array of skills. Some you’ll pick up over the course of a law degree. Some you’ll need to learn on your own. As well as flaunting your good grades, try to show that you have been working on things like commercial awareness, emotional intelligence and people skills. Those intangible traits might just give you the edge.
There’s more to life than law firms
If you got into law degree, a law graduate job is probably your end goal. Many people you know will likely have solicitor or barrister listed as their dream job. You can do anything you set your mind to, but remember: those aren’t your only options. You could be a paralegal, a chartered legal executive or a chartered secretary or legal counsel too.
And besides, they are plenty of job outside of the legal world that would be a prime fit for a legal graduate. Those include a clerkship in the Houses of Parliament, Civil Service Fast Stream, legal publishing and loads more.
Don’t give up
Having said that, if a law graduate job is your dream: chase it. Law is an all-consuming career that requires true dedication in order to succeed. The fact that you’ve made it this far shows you have that dedication. Don’t get disheartened by rejections and failures. Don’t worry if your peers are moving faster than you are. Keep working hard and your break will come.