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Non-law students

Your non-law student checklist

updated on 20 February 2024

You’re studying a non-law degree, but you’re keen on becoming a lawyer and want to know what you can be doing to learn more and prepare.

Here’s a checklist to get you started:

  • Learn more about law conversion courses (the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL)) and the Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE); particularly when and where to apply, and what it covers. Try to talk to someone who’s done it to get the inside story and go to your careers service for further information.
  • Do your SQE research. How does the SQE impact non-law students? What do you need to do before embarking on the SQE?

    Head to LCN’s SQE hub to find out and read our article for non-law students on the SQE and law conversion courses!

  • Get some practical work experience at a law firm, barristers’ chambers or legal advice centre. Talk to friends, family, acquaintances – anyone with a connection to the legal profession. Your careers service could be a great source of help.
  • Go to law fairs, firm presentations and open days to meet people face-to-face (or virtually). Think about how to stand out by asking good questions (eg, about a recent deal, case or merger).

    If you’re a non-law student, find out how you can stand out on training contract and vacation scheme applications in this LCN Says.
  • Join your university student law society (or your law for non-law society, if that exists!) to meet other like-minded students and attend networking events, information sessions, firm presentations and more.
  • Continue to work hard at your academic studies. Recruiters want to see exemplary grades and yes, first-year grades do count!

  • Start to develop your commercial awareness by reading the business sections on newspapers’ websites, as well as the more specific legal press – a couple of the more reputable broadsheet newspapers also have great law sections.
  • Ensure you stay on top of the trending commercial issues impacting the industry – this will come in useful for applications and interviews.

Keep up to date with LCN’s News section, particularly the weekly commercial round-up.

  • Engage with some of the extracurricular options at university (eg, sport, debating or music) to make yourself into a well-rounded candidate and work out how to reflect this on your CV and application forms.

Read our ‘Five things you can do to get ahead as a non-law student’ to give yourself a head start!

Stay up to date on all the key information you need to become a solicitor via our Solicitors hub. Alternatively, if the barrister route is for you, we’ve also got a Barristers hub.

Sign up to LCN Weekly; our free weekly email newsletter will deliver news and information about the profession, plus advice and reminders throughout the legal recruitment calendar, straight to your inbox.