How do I gain legal experience?
Gaining legal experience is invaluable in obtaining insight into the legal profession and helping you decide whether you want to pursue a career in law and which areas of law interest you the most. As a law student or graduate, gaining this experience can be incredibly useful in making you stand out in a competitive market.
So, how do you gain legal experience? In this article, we look at ways in which you can.
- Work experience: Consider applying for vacation schemes, insights events and informal shadowing at different law firms. This will give you an insight into the profession and different types of organisations.
- Pro bono and volunteering: It is worth looking at your university or within your local area for pro bono and volunteering opportunities. This allows you to give something back whilst helping you to develop your skills and knowledge.
- Networking: Get yourself out there! Attend law fairs, open days, masterclasses, presentations, seminars and webinars that are run by lawyers and students. Attend court and observe proceedings in action. This will help you in expanding your knowledge as well as get your name out there to professionals within your area.
- Mentorship: Spend time researching whether there are local legal mentoring schemes in your area and sign up as a mentee. This is a fantastic opportunity to work closely with an experienced individual from the legal community.
- Research and writing: Drafting articles and blog posts about topical legislation or news will help you to practice your research and writing skills, preparing you for when you are a trainee solicitor.
It may be difficult to know where to start when looking for ways you can gain legal experience, following the above tips will help you start your journey of expanding your legal knowledge and skills.
Finally don’t dismiss non-legal work experience – gaining a wide range of life experiences which involve transferrable skills can be just as valuable.