How to Secure a Job With no Work Experience

How to Secure a Job With no Work Experience

Perusing a legal career without having secured a work placement, vacation scheme or internship can seem a daunting challenge; many positions in the legal sector require a particular set of skills which are typically gained through legal work experience. This article will outline some of the ways in which you can showcase your capability by participating in alternative and accessible methods of developing the required skill set.

Virtual Internship Programs

The Forage offers a fantastic opportunity to partake in virtual internships with law firms including Linklaters , Clifford Chance, White & Case and a variety of Fortune 500 companies. These programs provide a unique insight into the roles and responsibilities of trainee lawyers and offer you the chance to complete ‘mock’ mergers and acquisitions, for example. True to life, these tasks require you to execute industry tasks such as email etiquette, how to leave an effective voicemail update for a colleague, and how to adhere to civil procedure rules such as the due diligence stage. The Forage also provides the additional benefit of making your work available, should you choose to, to recruiters meaning that your work could potentially be recognised by firms who are seeking to hire. Importantly, these programs are designed for you to work at your own pace, and they require absolutely no application process, nor are there any stages of enrolment, and so this is an accessible opportunity that has no hurdles application wise. Bright Network also invites students aspiring to work in the legal sector to complete their virtual internship experience, and this makes a perfect addition to the Forage courses.

HarvardX online courses are another useful resource that offers a vast choice of classes in subjects ranging from commercial awareness and contract law, to the role of artificial intelligence in law, financial technology and globalisation. Each course is free and makes

a valuable addition to the knowledge you have gained during your degree. Committing to any of these virtual programs is an excellent way to develop critical skills key to industry readiness. These courses are particularly useful in demonstrating your passion for specific areas of law and allow you to focus on the particular area of practice which interests you. A useful addition to this is ensuring that you choose your option law modules wisely as this shows your commitment to a particular area and to further this, it is a good idea to research the law firms that you are interested in applying to, making sure that your option modules align with the firm’s specialisms.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Most law schools host mooting competitions which are an excellent way to develop your verbal communication and demonstrates your ability to solve problems creatively. In the event that your university does not offer this opportunity, The Lawyer Portal host virtual mooting competitions too. If you enjoy this type of friendly competition with your fellow law students, you could also get involved in the British Inter University Commercial Awareness Competition. Commercial awareness is an integral skill when applying to any law firm and the BIUCAC offers work experience placements at four leading law firms as prizes . If the idea of a competition sounds daunting, signing up to a commercial awareness newsletter remains an excellent way of developing your knowledge of commercial developments and how these interact with the work of law firms. This will be a particularly useful skill in scenario-type interview questions or assessment centre activities as most firms will be looking to test your knowledge of commercial awareness.

It is also worthwhile checking whether the careers and employability department of your university hold CV and cover letter building workshops. Perfecting your CV and understanding how to make the most out of the experience you have already gained and realising how these skills are transferable is a strong addition to your overall application when applying to firms. You can also review The Legists Cover Letter and CV sample to assist in your drafting. You may also check whether your university has its own legal clinic whereby you can gain clinical legal education. This is a chance to partake in valuable pro-bono work within your community and develop lots of practical skills to better prepare you for the workplace.

Putting yourself forward to be on your university’s law society committee presents the chance to showcase your ability to work as a team. This is a core skill in any job role as it demonstrates how you are able to solve problems collaboratively by listening to your group members and also contributing ideas of your own.

Becoming a campus ambassador is good way of widening your network and building a relationship with the firm. Top firms including, Linklaters, Bird&Bird and Hogan Lovells offer campus ambassador positions and offer valuable benefits in recognition of your work. Some benefits include having early access to firm open days, exclusive trainee lawyer panel events and being exposed to graduate recruiters.

Schemes for Students from Disadvantaged and Underrepresented Backgrounds

People pursuing a legal career who come from a less affluent background or from underrepresented backgrounds may face additional barriers in gaining work experience. Schemes such as upReach, Bridging the Bar and Aspiring Solicitors offer career guidance and support as well as scholarships and bursaries to ascertain graduate jobs in the legal sector. These schemes partner with top firms in order to encourage contextual recruitment, broadening the opportunities available to less advantaged students. With the provision of CV and cover letter building workshops, tailored mentoring and plenty of activities designed to boost your employability, this has the potential to make a career in law far more accessible to you.



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