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Your first-year university checklist

You’re at university (law or non-law) and you want to know what you should be doing. Here is a brief checklist to get you started and help focus your mind:

  • Keep up with the business sections on newspapers’ websites to improve your commercial awareness, as well as reading the more specific legal press.
  • Work with your university careers adviser on your application and interview technique, and start to think about where you might like to apply for a vac scheme/mini-pupillage next year.
  • Get some practical work experience at a law firm, barristers’ chambers or legal advice centre. Talk to friends, parents, acquaintances – anyone with a connection to the legal profession.
  • Go to law fairs, firm presentations and open days to meet people face to face. Think about how to stand out by asking good questions (eg, about a recent deal, case or merger).
  • Continue to work hard at your academic studies. Recruiters want to see exemplary grades and yes, your first-year grades do count!
  • Engage with some of the extracurricular options at university (eg, sport, debating, mooting or music) in an effort to make yourself into a well-rounded candidate.
  • Consider whether you want to become a solicitor or barrister. Read the ‘Solicitors’ and ‘Barristers’ sections in The Training Contract & Pupillage Handbook to help you decide.

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