You can be forgiven if you think that YouTube is nothing but a giant ocean of cat videos and other such trivial digital media. It’s a communications channel not to be taken lightly. It’s unlikely that an academic/law youtube is going to amass as many followers as any of the Kardashian sisters, but gaining subscribers isn’t the only primary objective. It’s been used by magic-circle giants as a good marketing strategy for their clientele, which allows aspiring lawyers to see their predecessors as humans. The platform has been utilised by trainee solicitors to provide nuggets of commercial awareness, insight into training contract applications and ins and outs of the job.
Why not? Many people, including clients and aspiring lawyers prefer to learn about things by viewing content in a video, rather than just reading an article. Videos can help to retain your audience’s attention span and allows the content creator to inject more personality into the video, creating extra interest. Most would rather watch and listen to a lecturer summarise a case law than to read the full judgement on Westlaw. This is why YouTube has been used increasingly over the years, not just by law firms but also by Magic Circle lawyers to not only provide an insight into 'a day in the life', but also practical tips on applications, pschometric tests and assessment centres.
Here are five recommended YouTube channels to get you started.
Clifford Chance - Where bright minds meet
Often seen as the pioneer of social media because they were the first to create a YouTube account in September 2009. As expected they’ve accumulated 1,381 subscribers and 240,060 views. The channel has videos on the culture and collaboration at Clifford Chance and how you can impact the future of the firm by joining their business teams. The channel offers a detailed insight into the culture and working life at the firm as well as a daily dose of commercial acumen.
Linklaters - Powering the future
Linklaters joined YouTube in November 2011 and has accumulated 58,301 views and nearly 600 subscribers. The magic-circle giant has varied videos on banking, arbitration links, brexit, insurance, the rule of law, insights on businesses and videos on the foreign investments in China and Europe. A prominent Linklaters trainee solicitor, called Eve Cornwell is well known to the legal community and regularly uploads YouTube videos on her channel of how she secured a training contract with the magic circle giant.
The global law firm joined YouTube a year after Links, in May 2012 and currently has 13,971 views. The firm has varied videos on the role of criminal law in corporate investigations and reaching a resolution on a global investigation. In one particular video, uploaded at a time when corporate crime featured heavily in headlines, the firms partners and counsel share valuable insights of former prosecutors. The firm also has a playlist named 'Freshfields perspective' which is packed with commercial awareness topics such as artificial intelligence, global antitrust, block chain and international arbitration.
Following Freshfields, A&O created a YouTube account in August 2013 and has 91,024 views and precisely 584 subscribers. Unlike Linklaters and Freshfields, A&O doesn’t have have playlists of its videos but instead has interviews with partners and solicitors at the firm detailing a true account of what the work load, culture, people, social life and training is like at the firm. Other myth buster videos discuss the perks and advantages to working for the magic-circle giant as well as the level of international exposure you get.
Slaughter and May - Great minds think differently
The last magic circle giant to join the youtube space, Slaughter and May created their account, 641 views, just January last year. The firm has videos on diversity and inclusivity and present expert viewpoints on the M&A landscape and digital services tax.
The LawCareers.Net YouTube channel contains vlogs by trainees which are brilliant sources for training contract applicants. The channel takes its 3,465 subscribers behind the scenes of major events in the legal calendar, bringing you up-to-the-minute information and careers advice from the professional’s best, brightest and most influential figures. LCN vlogs range from commercial awareness case studies to tips on vacation scheme and training contract applications.
Other recommended YouTube channels include: