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What students in the first year of their LLB can do to enhance their career prospects

13th June 2018 Posted by: Student World Online

GETTING started straight away towards building your career in law could pay dividends when you come to graduate and perhaps find a law firm or barristers' chambers. 

The legal industry is competitive because it not only offers an intellectually challenging and interesting career path but also because the financial rewards for successful lawyers can be very significant indeed. 

We put together a checklist of five major steps you can take to grab control of your legal career in your first year, and we can almost guarantee you'll look back and feel glad you got out there, took control and got yourself prepared for the rewarding career your hard work deserves. 

Take a look at our short list of the best tips for making a flying start in your first year... 

Get into the habit of following legal developments in the press

Try to get into the habit of following legal controversies, including government lawmaking, in the press. 

The Times in the UK is an example of a newspaper which has excellent coverage of developments in the courts. 

But remember that law originates as legislation made and altered by governments, so following politics will give you plenty of exposure to the way things are changing. 

Here's an example: if your country's parliament is considering changing the way a given industry works, why not check whether the law changes which could take effect might also impact on future clients? 

Get some practical experience

Get some practical work experience at a law firm, barristers’ chambers or legal advice centre.

At this stage it really doesn't matter too much where you gain experience - it's all about making sure you can say you've first taken the initiative to satisfy your professional curiosity.

Secondly, you'll be able to show you actually know how the workplace works to some extent.

It's important to push past any shyness you might feel and take whatever opportunities you can find among people with connections to you, who also work in the legal profession. 

Seek out opportunities for facetime and networking

Check with your university to see who's going to be attending any careers events they are running in your first year. 

You could also check to see whether there are any recruitment sessions at your own law department - many major law firms spend time strategically building awareness among potential recruits about their firms in order to attract the best talent possible. 

If you're attending a careers fair or presentation, make sure you're dressed snappily and make sure you know what you want to ask. 

Get started with mooting and pro bono work

One major extracurricular activity you'll need to consider is mooting (legal debating), especially if you dream of making a career as a barrister. 

Taking part in mooting shows you can speak in public, and that you can use your legal acumen while being questioned or discussing legal points with a judge. 

Another avenue both would-be solicitors and barristers can take towards gaining experience is through seeking out pro bono work. 

Many law departments host or are heavily connected to nearby university law departments. 

Keep those grades up

The reality of the legal profession is that academic grades do count towards legal industry opportunities,  perhaps even more so than in other subjects. 

With so many law students looking to find their way into the industry, law firms have a choice of outstanding candidates. 

One of the ways you can remain competitive in such a wide field is to make sure you spend time ensuring you have good grades in your degree modules. 





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