Isla Grant - Summer of law
For many, the summer holiday period is all about beaches, relaxing ,watching loads of sport on the TV and generally having a great time with not a care in the world, right? Wrong! It's a cut-throat business, and it is wise to spend some time over your holidays thinking ahead to the next academic year.
There are a few things that you can do in preparation. First, we suggest you gain some legal work experience over the break. This might mean sending off a speculative letter or two to your local high-street firm, community law centre or Citizens Advice Bureau asking for voluntary work or shadowing. Alternatively, you could think about contacting your local court centre to see if it is possible to do some judge marshalling or even just sit in on a few cases.
But, if you're struggling to get legal experience, you need to think about how you can spin the things you ARE doing so as to appeal to prospective firms. For example, working in a bar - you're dealing with customers, managing your time, working within a team. What about getting involved with voluntary work in your community? That always looks good on a CV plus you have the warm glow of doing some actual good!
In addition, you can start to think about the sorts of firm you might be interested in applying to next year. Some questions to ask yourself include: What sort of law interests me? Does size matter? Does location matter? Does money matter? To enjoy some face-to-face time with different firms, you should be attending all the law fairs and firm presentations that you can fit in, most of which take place in October and November. To keep abreast of which firm is doing what when, check out the LCN Diary and pencil them into your wall planner (you've got a wall planner, right?).
Finally, remember that excellent academic grades are essential. You need to be aiming for a 2.1 or higher, so at this stage you may even like to get ahead with your reading for next year - nothing wrong with reading Chitty on Contracts by the pool or on the beach! Happy holidays!