More and more people are graduating from university with a degree in law & looking for legal jobs. As a consequence it’s worth thinking about what legal job you would like after you graduate and how well prepared you are. We’ve put together 10 top tips to get a graduate legal job.
1. Gain some work experience – it can be really hard to get legal work experience, sometime legal firms have more applicants for work experience than they do for trainee positions. Don’t let the high level of competition put you off. Either apply to more law firms or broaden your search to other similar businesses. Your local council, an entertainment company or estate agents are other business which would welcome high quality work experience candidates which will help you later on in your law career.
2. Think about what area you would like to specialise in – as you progress through your course, try to decide which areas you’d like to specialise in as soon as you feel comfortable doing so. Having a clear idea of what you would like to do post-university will help you in your search.
3. Join Societies – unfortunately just having a good degree is not enough to land the perfect legal job. Get involved in clubs, societies & other extra-curricular activities. It shows you’re a well rounded individual and will give the opportunities to hone some of the skills which will make you a stronger applicant.
4. Polish your CV – too many students leave their CV until they graduate; this can put real pressure on you to get the document right. It’s best to start work on your CV early on at university. Then you can quickly update the document whenever you achieve something new. A few minutes working on your CV every month will mean by the time you graduate you will have a professional and comprehensive file to send to potential employers.
5. Read the industry press – by reading the legal specialist press you will learn about the major firms who may be recruiting in the future. Also it can keep you up to date with any industry specific news, this kind of information will help you seem informed and in touch in any work experience or job interviews.
6. Visit your careers service – most university have well qualified career services. They can usually help you with interview techniques and often can often put you in touch with local companies who would be ideal to contact for work experience.
7. Improve your communication skills – working for a student newspaper or radio station can help you learn to improve your ability to communicate with people. These skills are valued highly by employers in all industries not just law.
8. Visit Local Courts – you might have to spend time in local courts as part of your course but try and spend as much time there as you can arrange. It will help you get comfortable with the environment and might help you network with potential employers.
9. Learn a Language – a second language is a great skill and can be really helpful in lots of legal jobs. It can provide a break from you law studies but also set you apart from other candidates when applying for jobs.
10. Work Hard – with so many people graduating from university with law and other degrees it is becoming increasingly important to graduate with a good grade. While lots of other factors can help you get a law job your degree is still the most important.