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Your second-year university checklist

updated on 29 January 2021

As you head into the second year of your degree (law or non-law), you might be wondering what you need to be doing to increase your chances of securing a job in the legal profession. Here is a checklist to help you navigate your second year:

  • Before making any applications, spend a good amount of time doing some research into law firms and making a shortlist of those you want to apply to. Think about what practice areas you are interested in, the type of firm (eg, magic circle, high street, boutique or international) and the clients that the firm works with. Without thorough research, your application will not be successful.
  • Apply for vacation schemes at your shortlisted firms. A particularly important date for your diary is 31 January, as this is when many law firms set their spring/summer vacation scheme deadlines.
  • Make the most of your university careers service; it is there to help you.
  • Sign up to LawCareers.Net (if you haven’t already) to unlock a host of extra benefits. You will receive our weekly email newsletter with news and information about the profession, and gain access to MyLCN.
  • Attend any relevant virtual and in-person events, including law fairs, firm open days and presentations. For advice on how to prepare for and get the most out of these events watch this LCN video.
  • Get involved with your university’s law society; engage and make the most out of the opportunities on offer (eg, mooting).
  • Try to secure some extra work experience (legal or non-legal). This could be pro bono work or a part-time job to help build your transferrable skills.
  • Continue reading the business sections of news websites to improve your commercial awareness, but also read the more specific legal press – a couple of the more reputable broadsheet newspapers also have great law sections. Find out more about commercial awareness, its importance and how to build yours with LCN’s commercial awareness dedicated hub.
  • Continue to work hard at your academic studies. 
  • Don’t forget to take some time out for yourself too. Getting into law is competitive and there’s no denying that you need to work hard but avoiding burnout and making sure you look after your mental health is also key.

LCN’s checklists for first-year and third-year students are also available to read.