Tips for getting a graduate law job
For many, successfully landing that first job in the law sector was not a direct path. After completing your degree, you may feel compelled to jump straight in and start applying everywhere you can. Before you do, take a close look at your CV and amount of experience then ask yourself; could I do more? These essential points should help you secure the dream job you deserve.
Strengthen your CV
It is very likely that your CV is going to be just one in hundreds that the law firm has received. If it’s overly long, vague or confusing to read in anyway, you can guarantee it’s headed straight for the shredder.
It goes without saying that your CV needs to have perfect spelling and grammar. It may seem fickle, but a misused apostrophe could end your application before it even starts. This isn’t the time to be flowery with your language – save that for your covering letter. It needs to be clear, consistent and concise. Separate your CV into relevant categories and order them according to their level of importance. Contact details should go at the top and references should be at the bottom. Experience, education and key law skills go in-between.
Make the effort to tailor each CV to a specific law firm. Potential employers can spot a copy-and-paste job a mile away if you’re sending these out in bulk. Put some extra effort in and concentrate on what you can offer that specific company. Lawyer 2B has an excellent survival guide for those about to start a mini pupillage.
Get relevant experience
You should have already gained some form of experience during your degree, but you can be sure there’s someone else out there that’s got more. Put yourself at the top of the pile by getting even more after you graduate. Make a list of all the local law firms in your region and enquire about potential holiday placements they might be running.
Contact your faculty and enquire about legal pro bono work. Not only will you gain real-life experience, you’ll also demonstrate your willingness to work and keep your knowledge up to date.
If you’re an undergraduate, try to take part in a mini-pupillage. It’s a great way to develop your understanding of a barrister’s job role. You’ll get to make court visits, check papers, discuss cases and attend client meetings.
You should also ask about any opportunities of work shadowing at cambers and firms.
If you live near London, Freshfields is offering graduate law jobs and training to talented individuals who can further the success of their company. If you need more experience before applying, Targetjobs has an excellent database of training opportunities available.