With the Leeds Law Fair just around the corner, we thought this was a good time to publish this post; a summary of some of the insights shared at the University of Law‘s event in Leeds ‘Preparing students for a successful legal career’ earlier this year. At the event, four speakers shared their insights on the industry and how it is vital for students to prepare for a successful legal career early on in their studies.
Generally, all speakers agreed that a strong academic CV, work experience and networking were key factors law firms look for when recruiting potential employees. Problem solvers, team players and those who could hit the ground running are also desirable as well as someone with commercial awareness and a passion for Law.
Strong Academic CV/ Work Experience
A strong academic CV is desirable and work experience is vital, it is advised to gain as much as you can even if it is volunteering or Pro Bono work. It was also mentioned that non law-related roles such as managing a bar could provide a great example of leadership. If you don’t succeed straight away in securing a training contract consider Paralegal work to build up experience and a network of contacts. An interesting 52% of vacancies likely to be filled by graduates who have already worked for employer Source: University of Law University of Law
How to achieve this:
- Start to build up your CV, gain work experience and join extracurricular activities
- Check out the Careers Centre vacancy site for vacation schemes and mini-pupillages
- Make speculative enquiries with firms. Check out our advice on speculative enquiries for tips on how to do this successfully. You can search for firms by location and practice area on The Law Society website
- Join the University Law Society to help build your legal skills such as debating, negotiating and mooting. University of Leeds Law Society and follow on Twitter @LeedsLawSoc. Partners include Slaughter and May, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and many more! For information on their training contracts, vacation schemes and open days visit University of Leeds Law Society Partners
- If you aren’t currently studying Law, you should considering joining the Law 4 Non Law Society
- AllAboutLaw is a great resource for anyone considering a Legal career, regardless of what stage you are at currently
- LawCareers.Net also has some great resources
- Visit the Career Centre drop in for a chat about your career planning; http://careerweb.leeds.ac.uk/appointments to view and book appointments
- We also have a range of take-away resources available in the Careers Centre, including Legal Directories, Training Contract & Pupillages Handbooks, and a range of other literature on Legal careers.
Networking is vital; it can really help to have connections when securing work experience or permanent positions. It was recommended by the speakers for students to go to Law Fairs and talk to employers face to face to establish links, also to attend any events hosted by employers to get to know them directly. One speaker noted that employers do look for people who they would be able to put in front of their clients, therefore establishing contacts face to face is key.
- Attend as many Careers Fairs/Events as you can and engage directly with Law Firms
- The Law Fair, Wednesday 4th November, Parkinson Court, University of Leeds 11am – 2:30pm
- Norton Rose Fulbright are running a “Prepare for the Fair” workshop on Tuesday 3rd Novmber
- Keep up to date with Career Centre Events Events. Run an advanced search using keyword ‘law’ to find law-specific events
- Be social media savvy – Set up a professional profile on LinkedIn and beware of how you’re using social media generally. You don’t want an ill-advised or throwaway post or comment to come back to haunt you in the future
- Follow Companies you are interested in engaging with on Twitter or other social platforms. For example, Leeds firm Blacks are very active on Twitter @LawBlacks
- Take a look at the Leeds Network, you can contact University of Leeds Alumni working in a particular job or organisation Leeds Network
- Check out the Careers Centre website hints and tips section on networking Networking tips
Take a look at the Legal Careers resources on our website for useful sources of information and advice and remember, you can talk to us for individual advice and guidance.
Jessica Hudson (History, 2012) is a Partnerships Manager in the Retail Team at Cancer Research UK after having completed their graduate scheme. In this post she shares her experience of getting into the Charity sector as well as her advice for others interested in doing the same.
I’m Jess and I studied History at the University of Leeds from 2009-2012. I enjoyed 3 amazing years in Leeds, where I seemed to spend most of my time getting told off for talking too loudly in the Brotherton or getting a cheeseburger from Zulfis at 3am. But it was my involvement with one of the societies at Leeds Uni, READ International, which really reinforced my decision to forge a career in the charity sector. Continue reading
Fancy winning a £50 Amazon voucher? Take part in our #PictureMyFuture image competition for your chance to win!
Career means different things to different people and we want to know what it means to you. It might be a dream job or employer, where you work, helping others, status, or whatever would be personally rewarding or important to you.
We are running an image competition from 19th October – 1st November inclusive. All you need to do to enter is tweet us a picture or post it on Facebook using #PictureMyFuture (make sure your post is public!). We will select a shortlist of the best entries and publish these on our Facebook page after the closing date. The winner will be decided by public vote by whichever image receives the most ‘likes’ from shortlisted entries and will get a £50 Amazon voucher.
Your image can be as creative or literal as you like and can include you or not. We are looking for original and engaging visual representations of what’s important to you when you think about your career.
Some of our staff have submitted their own images below in case you need some inspiration!
- Competition open to any current University of Leeds student (undergraduate or postgraduate).
- To be considered you must include #PictureMyFuture with your image and make sure it is publicly viewable (whether on Twitter or Facebook).
- Images submitted must be your own work and not infringe any copyright.
- You may include text with your entry (maximum length of 100 characters including spaces).
- Shortlisted images, along with any text included, will be published on our Facebook page on Monday 2nd November and be open for voting until 10am on Friday 6th November.
- Number of ‘likes’ for each image will be counted at the deadline and the image with the most ‘likes’ will be the overall winner.
- In the event of a draw, we will choose an overall winner.
- Multiple entries are allowed.
- Be entering the competition you agree to allowing us to use the image (e.g. posting on Facebook, Twitter or our blog).
If you have an idea for a project which will develop your skills and benefit others, the Leeds for Life Foundation could help with a cash grant to make it happen. You might want to seek out new challenges, to experience new environments and cultures, and make a positive difference to the lives of other people. In this post, Opportunities Ambassador Bilal provides a bit more information as well as how you can access application support if you are planning on applying for the October deadline.
Every year the Leeds for Life Foundation awards grants of up to £500 for students who want to develop their skills by taking part in co- or extra-curricular projects or by planning and developing their own projects. There are 2 calls for projects each year, one in each semester. This semester’s deadline for applications is the 30th of October. Continue reading
Fiaza Boota is a 2nd year History student and is one of this year’s History Interns, focusing on the Teaching sector. She attended the Autumn Graduate Jobs and Internships Fair on Monday 12th October and spoke to many of the teacher training providers there. She’s kindly written up her findings which will be particularly useful if you did not get a chance to attend yourself.
The Graduate Fair took place on Monday this week and it provided students the chance to interact with over 120 different organisations. It was useful for those who had no idea about which career they may want to advance in and also for those who were keen to talk to a representative of a company they want to work in.
I went in as a second year History student who wants to become a teacher. Going around the fair made me realise that there are hundreds of opportunities that are available to History – and other – students, here at the University of Leeds. The aim of this review is to provide those who you who didn’t get the chance to go to the Fair to gain access to information about the organisations which represented the Education sector. Continue reading
Josh Karpf studied BA Music at Leeds, graduating in 2008 and now works as an Events Account Manager for Ministry of Sound. In this interview, he outlines how he developed his career in the music industry – starting back at Leeds – and how this led to his current position, as well as sharing his tips for anyone else interested in pursuing a similar career.
What events-related job roles are there in the music industry?
There are a huge range of events related jobs available within the music industry, from club promotions and event management to artist bookings and festival coordination.
What is your role and what does it involve?
I am the Events Account Manager within the Tours and Events department at Ministry of Sound. Continue reading
Andrea Manouchou studies Management and is currently on an industrial placement with the University’s Alumni Department, where part of her role involves promoting the Leeds Network. In this post she outlines the value of networking and how the Leeds Network can help you access insights, tips and advice from Alumni of the University working in your sectors of interest.
Networking is extremely important for our generation. It is one of the best ways to acquire career information or words of wisdom from experts in the sector that interests you. Contacts made through networking have now become more important than ever before. LinkedIn, a professional networking tool, now has over 380 million users, proving how valuable networking is. And now is the best time for you to start networking as well.