The whole truth and nothing but the truth
Meet a young lawyer working in Surrey
My name is Lucy and I am a current trainee solicitor with TWM Solicitors which is a leading South East law firm. I want to give three of my best tips for any aspiring lawyer – applicable whether you’re in school, university or a graduate!
Firstly, there are many routes to get into law. I used to think that you had to get 3 As at A level, go to universities like Oxford and Durham, work for a big law firm in London and then qualify as a solicitor.
It’s not like that, and thank goodness it isn’t. I achieved BBC grades at A level, I went to UEA (a great university but it’s not one of the big guns) and I’m working in a mid-size firm in Surrey, which I love.
You can go to university and study law. Or you can go to university and study something completely different and then do what’s called a Graduate Diploma in Law for a year afterwards. You can also work as a paralegal to gain some experience after university. You can train to be a solicitor by completing the Legal Practice Course – or you can work in a law firm and qualify by working on the job via CILEX.
There’s more than one route to law and you have to find what works best for you.
Secondly, get involved as early as you can. You can do this by arranging work experience at law firms. Some law firms offer an organised programme and other law firms you can email and enquire whether you could get some experience for a week or two. Either way, this gives you great exposure into what it’s like to work in a law firm and you can figure out what you like and don’t like, in terms of size and location of law firm and type of law.
What else can you do?
Get involved at university. Lots of places offer competitions like negotiation, mediation, advocacy and client interviewing. You can gain skills in these areas which make you invaluable. Universities also have information on places and run programmes where you can volunteer. I volunteered for my local free legal advice clinic in the domestic abuse department. This is where I learned how to use case management systems, and I acquired new skills in interviewing and advising, as well as creating networking opportunities with solicitors. I was also introduced to real life cases through this voluntary work so I thoroughly recommend this type of experience.
Thirdly, do things outside of law. Law firms like to see that you’re an interesting and well rounded person. Get involved in sports, or learn an instrument or volunteer at the weekend. Anything you can do to show you have a life outside of school / university / work will look good and you will enjoy it too!
Why not join us?
I really enjoy my job as a trainee solicitor, and if you want to know more information or if you want to apply for a training contract at TWM Solicitors, applications for a 2020 start are now open. You have until February 2019 so click here to learn more.
I'm the founder here at HireHigher, with the mission to ensure students can make informed choices on their options after education.
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