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Beginner's Guide

Your first-year university checklist

updated on 24 August 2020

You’re at university (law or non-law) and you want to know what you should be doing. Here is a brief checklist to get you started:

  • Keep up with the business sections on newspapers’ 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.
  • Work with your university careers adviser on your application and interview technique, and start to think about where you might like to apply for a vac scheme/mini-pupillage next year.
  • Sign up to a free LawCareers.Net account. You will receive our weekly email newsletter with news and information about the profession, and gain access to MyLCN.
  • Get some practical work experience at a law firm, barristers’ chambers or legal advice centre. Explore the range of diversity organisations that help future lawyers.
  • Go to virtual and any in-person law fairs, firm presentations and open days to meet people. Think about how to stand out by asking good questions (eg, about a recent deal, case or merger).
  • Continue to work hard at your academic studies. Recruiters want to see exemplary grades and yes, your first-year grades do count!
  • Join your university's student law society who will be able to support you with events, presentations, information sessions and more. Plus, you will be able to meet other students in the same position as you.
  • Engage with some of the extracurricular options at university (eg, sport, debating, mooting or music) to make yourself into a well-rounded candidate.
  • Sign up to online platform Vantage (vantageapp.io) to be contacted directly by top law firms about opportunities for first years.