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If you are thinking of studying law at university or thinking of entering the legal sector when you graduate, this is a great place to start your research.
Our Partner Law Firms
We are fortunate enough to work with some of the world's leading law firms and they offer a wide range of programmes from career tasters to internships to training contracts. Visit their web page for more information on what they do and to apply for their student programmes.
Getting work experience
Work experience at sixth form is not easy to come by, and we suggest applying to your local solicitor's office to get a taste of a career in law or going to your local court to watch cases.
Applying to study Law at university
The most common route into the legal profession is studying law at university. It is one of the most popular degree courses and is offered at over 300 HE institutions across the country. Most universities will look for candidates who have three A-Levels (or equivalent) in subjects such as English and History, as well as a flare for the subject. You can demonstrate this through wider reading, extra-curricular activities and work experience and they are great things to include in your personal statement and CV. We have plenty of example law personal statements for you to browse through, so be sure to have a look before you start. Some universities will require their candidates to take an aptitude test called LNAT. It is a good idea to research the universities which require students to take the LNAT and what the test entails.
Career tasters are a great way to find out more about any industry, especially law. Several of our partner law firms offer career open days where you can find out exactly what you need to jump-start your law career.
Studying Law at university
There are so many legal work opportunities for buddying lawyers whilst studying at university. Most opportunities are for students in their penultimate year of study and they are a great for developing skills and working on projects which will give you plenty to talk about in an interview. Internship programmes run for approximately 6-8 weeks over the Easter and summer holidays and students are often given the opportunity to attend client meetings, carry out research in preparation for meetings and cases, whilst shadowing a lawyer. Internship programmes are very competitive and firms are looking for enthusiastic and committed candidates who can demonstrate their commitment to the industry. Although it is important to get work experience, internships aren't the only way. Shadowing a lawyer and working as a legal clerk are just a few other ways you can gain that valuable legal work experience.
Legal Practice Course (LPC)
The LPC covers the movement from being a graduate to becoming a lawyer-in-training. It can be studied full-time and completed within a year, or it can be split over two years and done part-time. The course consists of several compulsory and optional subjects and helps students to determine which type of law they prefer. The LPC also includes practical skills such as interviewing techniques, communication skills and negotiations. The course is taught at several institutions and it is important to carry out the same level of research for when you were selecting your universities during the sixth form.
Not studied law at university?
Not to worry! There are so many students who do not study law at university but who go on to become successful lawyers. The Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) allows non-law graduates the chance to enter the legal profession and work as a solicitor or barrister. The one-year course is very intensive and ultimately condenses a three year undergraduate law degree into one! Sounds tough, but institutions offer a great deal of support and guidance so you are in safe hands. There are several institutions that offer the GDL and again, we recommend students to carry out extensive research into the various institutions as they all offer a slightly different course.
A training contract is the final step for many lawyers on their career path to becoming a solicitor. Contracts last two years and involve a mixture of class-based learning and practical experience which are run by the law firms themselves. There is a lot to think about when applying for a training contract and much of this is dependent on personal preference. For example, would you like to work in a small firm, what type of law firm would you prefer (city law firms, in-house law departments, government, international) and area of practice (tax, criminal, commercial). Carrying out research is really important to help you ascertain what type of firms to apply to. Speaking to people who have secured a training contract at the firm you are thinking of applying to is another useful thing to do. Another excellent way to find out about a firm's training contract is experience! Summer internships and vacation programmes are great ways to get first-hand experience of working within a firm and you will learn plenty of useful information about their training contracts. Like internships, training contracts are very competitive, but doing work experience, studying hard and having passion for the industry are just a few things you can do to boost your chances of securing your training contract.
Thinking of a career at The Bar?
We have an increasing number of students who are interested in becoming a barrister. For more information on a career as a barrister and the qualification required visit the Bar Council website.
A Pure Potential Success Story!
We met Dina Fahmy way back in 2007 when she was in sixth form, and now she has a training contract with Allen & Overy - one of the world's leading law firms. She tells her story:
"Like most Sixth Formers, when UCAS application time came around I was not entirely sure which university I wanted to attend nor what I wanted to study, let alone what career path I later wanted to pursue. Pure Potential's PP: Sixth event thus came at a perfect time! The event, held at the LSE which is incidentally the university I have gone on to attend, was an incredible help. It provided me with valuable guidance in making important decisions for the future, both in terms of university and career choice. Now, as a final year law student taking up a job in corporate law, I am funnily enough working through the levels I learnt about all that time ago with Pure Potential.
Before attending the PP: Sixth event I had virtually no knowledge of corporate law or what the job entailed, but things were greatly clarified by the speakers on the day. Following a presentation by a corporate law firm on what the lawyers do on a daily basis, we got involved in a group case study where we simulated a legal situation. Learning interactively about the work of corporate lawyers was really insightful, and a lot of fun. From this point on I began seriously considering corporate law as a potential career path.
After working hard during A levels I was fortunate enough to get into the LSE and I'm having a fantastic time here. Although the degree is challenging, it's extremely interesting and very well suited to my interests and skills. I'm meeting lots of great people from around the world and taking advantage of as many opportunities as possible, such as taking part in societies, mooting (mock trials) and attending public lectures. LSE has, moreover, held many careers events in the field of corporate law thus helping me expand on the knowledge I initially gained at the PurePotential event.
I extensively researched corporate law by attending numerous events held by different law firms and speaking to various people in the industry, from graduate recruitment staff to trainee solicitors to partners. I really liked what I heard and knew that the next step in learning more about the job, and whether it suited me, was to get hands-on experience working at a corporate law firm. I applied for summer vacation schemes and managed to land internships with Allen & Overy and Baker & McKenzie, which I carried out after completing my second year exams. My time at the firms was invaluable and I even got to do a week in Allen & Overy's New York office which was an amazing experience! Most importantly, the schemes affirmed to me that training as a corporate lawyer is what I want to do after I graduate.
I have now accepted a Training Contract with Allen & Overy, which I have requested to defer for a year, giving me the chance to travel and perhaps teach English abroad. My plans aren't final as of yet, but it's great to have the freedom to take time off between university and starting work.
Starting Sixth Form I would never have envisaged myself to be in this position, and I feel very fortunate to have secured the graduate scheme with Allen & Overy. The work Pure Potential does for students is something I really admire and support, especially as I have experienced first hand how effective their guidance can be."
Need help with your personal statement? Why not visit the Personal Statement Homepage where you can get top tips on how to fill out your UCAS form and browse through our library of over 350 personal statements.
Need some ideas for the future? Some inspiration on what kind of career might be right for you? Just want to find out what’s out there? icould can help you discover what you could do and how you could get there.