Whether you’re in First year or Final year getting involved within your Law School is vital to both your enjoyment and success in your degree. There is, however, also invaluable opportunities to be experienced outside of the classroom. Showing an interest in the Law in various aspects of your life can result in an exciting CV that will clearly demonstrate your passion for the Law and make you stand out against other candidates. I have comprised a list of some of the key activities that every Law student should consider getting involved in in order to become a strong young lawyer.
How to get involved within your school:
Firstly, integrating yourself with your peers will make you feel more at ease within your degree. It can lead to a variety of benefits, from the formation of useful study groups to lifelong friendships. The number one way to meet and socialise with your classmates is to join your Schools Law Society. They will organise events throughout the year that are not to be missed and are the ideal way to get to know your classmates. You can join your society whether you’re in First or Final Year so it’s never too late!
Mooting is an exciting way to get involved during your degree and the benefits it offers are manifold. Experience with Mooting can be extremely advantageous especially when applying for training contracts and placements. Mooting, although an extracurricular activity, is often deemed an ‘essential’ experience for any young lawyer in the growing legal market. It has been deemed the most effective way for any law student to acquire the skills of a lawyer including legal skills in analysis and interpretation and argument. Furthermore, it allows for successful interactions between students, members of the academic staff and judges all within a rewarding environment.
How to get involved outside of Law School:
While the focus remains primarily on getting involved within your law school, there is, however, value in getting involved outside of the immediate school community.
As a Law student work experience is considered a ‘must have’ among employers. Shadowing a qualified Solicitor or Barrister for even a week can be beneficial for your CV and can give you an extremely useful insight into what area of the Law you would like to specialise in. It provides an insight which can only be gained through first-hand experience. Furthermore, shadowing a legal professional gives you the chance to put the theory you have learned in the classroom to practical use. Perhaps, most importantly it gives you a glimpse of your potential future career.
Pro-bono work provides you with an opportunity to use some of your legal skills for the benefit of the wider community. This could be through charities, schools or law centres. Engaging in pro-bono work is a fantastic way to provide support to your community that might otherwise not be available. A prolonged commitment to pro-bono work will stand out to employers and work to your benefit by shaping your profile as a legal candidate. Furthermore, engaging in this type of work will improve your profile in the legal market as a whole, ultimately shaping you as a person and a lawyer.
As you progress through your degree your calendar will begin to fill up with different events and talks. Time spent networking with older students and various brand ambassadors is invaluable and can provide crucial contacts for the future. While it is not essential that you attend all of these events many of them can be interesting and can provide you with alternative views on the law which, in turn, can be beneficial in an interview scenario.
Finally, but perhaps most importantly I would encourage all Law students, regardless of year or status, to join a club or organisation outside of the Law School. This could be a charity, a sport, or one of the various clubs your University will offer. This will show a commitment to university life outside of your degree and help maintain your personal identity and sanity outside of the immediate school community.