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One commonly overlooked aspect of university is the additional opportunities offered to students, including regional and national level competitions. These are a key aspect of networking within the law and are an excellent way to help you stand out through your CV.
During university, I completed an internal competition for client interviewing and took part in negotiation sessions. The client interviewing competition allowed me to gain key skills, which I would’ve been unable to develop through my studies. Not only this, but it also allowed me to spend more time around two of my lecturers who ran the competition, for which I attribute a massive amount of my success at university to so far. Having a good relationship with your lecturers, I believe, is a massive advantage to your learning. Extracurricular activities are an exceptional way to build your personal connections with your lecturers and can make going to them with any questions or issues so much easier and less daunting.
These experiences have also allowed me to build up the skills for my CV. By simply completing your degree and not taking part in any extracurricular activities, you’ll potentially find it difficult to demonstrate to potential employers that you have the skills they may deem key for the role you’ve applied for. My involvement in the internal competition for client interviewing means I can add client interviewing experience to my CV, as well as all the other skills that come with this.
In a course full of extremely committed students, and lecturers willing to put on these opportunities, I was surprised when no more than 15 people attended the internal, practical sessions.
As well as the positive impact on my CV, they also had a profound impact on my studies. When starting university, I wanted to feel a lot more confident in my seminars and workshops as I was very much the quiet and shy kid at school. These opportunities have helped my confidence grow massively, despite it only being an in-university setting.
University is ultimately all about building your personal repertoire and trying to put forward to potential employers that you have the experience and skills at hand in order to be a success in the industry you’re applying to work within. Extracurricular activities not only give you these key skills, but also demonstrate to potential employers the extra effort that you’re willing to put in, making you stand out among others without such experience. It’s no secret that law is an incredibly competitive industry and, in order to put yourself on the right track to secure a position in the legal industry, it’s important to start early and demonstrate your willingness to learn and gain the key legal skills by engaging in the extracurricular activities offered by your university.
I believe that this is a key aspect of university that many students miss out on, and is something I’d implore more students to get involved in.