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Beginner's Guide

Your ‘first steps’ checklist

updated on 24 August 2020

If you decide that a career as a lawyer is for you, there are a few things you should be doing even before you begin university. Here is a checklist to get you started:

  • Talk to your careers adviser at school to go through your options.
  • Research the different paths into law – university, chartered legal executive, paralegal, apprenticeship (read The Law Apprenticeships Guide 2021) – and decide which is right for you.
  • Get some practical work experience at a law firm, barristers’ chambers or legal advice centre; it will help you to decide what suits you best and will also improve any applications you make later.
  • Work hard at your academic studies. Excellent grades are essential!
  • Sign up to online platform Vantage ( to connect with top law firms that are genuinely interested in engaging with you.
  • Think about the kinds of extracurricular activities you can do, or have done, to make yourself into a well-rounded candidate. Think sport, volunteering, drama, music…
  • 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.
  • Read newspapers’ online business sections to improve your commercial awareness and get you starting to ‘think business’.