So you have emerged from your revision cave having survived the trenches of exam season but now what? Here are five useful things you should consider doing this summer.
- Apply for Mini-Pupillages.
Alongside strong academics, chambers are also impressed by the practical experience. A mini-pupillage involves shadowing a barrister for a few days and gaining an insight into a specific area of law. Applying for a mini-pupillage is vital if you want to be considered a serious applicant. Many chambers are open for applications this summer. Ensure you book an appointment with City Careers, the Career consultants will go through your application with a fine tooth comb and eliminate any errors they find.
- Organise Legal Work Experience.
There are many high-street firms who offer law students work experience over the summer. Write to them, enclosing your CV and cover letter, but don’t limit yourself to one, ensure you get in touch with numerous firms. Chambers like to see you have considered the solicitor path; so you can use your experience at law firms to explain why being a solicitor is not for you. This will only strengthen your application as an aspiring barrister.
- Get Involved in Pro Bono.
Pro Bono provides a fantastic opportunity for you to participate in supervised casework. The City Law School has a Commercial Law Clinic called Start-Ed, which is supervised by qualified and experienced lawyers. Student Legal Advisers hold a fact-finding interview with the client, identify legal issues, carry out legal research and provide detailed written legal advice. This role is open to students from any year.
Consider volunteering at your local Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) to become a Trainee Adviser. Many City students have described their experience at CAB as rewarding. Alternatively, you can volunteer as a Caseworker at the Free Representation Unit (FRU) in your third year.
- Get a Summer Job.
Non-legal work experience can impress chambers more than students think. That being said, don’t write off that job at Tesco’s, you can gain relevant skills there. For example, a Customer Service role at Tesco’s gives you the chance to exercise your communication skills by interacting with customers. A good barrister must have outstanding oral communication skills.
- Get CV Bar-ready.
City’s Career Service is here to help develop your CV, tailor your applications, and hone your interview technique. The career consultants offer one-to-one advice to aid you in making quality applications to top-set chambers. They are here all summer so no excuses! You can book an appointment here.
Consider starting a LinkedIn profile, It may not be as glamorous as Instagram but it is a professional network that allows you to connect and stay in touch with legal professionals. City Careers run workshops during term time to help enhance your online presence.
Whatever you do this summer, make the most of it and don’t forget to have fun.
Christianah Babajide is a legal journalist and aspiring barrister. She is studying her Bachelor of Laws at The City Law School. On behalf of City University London’s Careers Service, she hopes to write event reviews and be sharing crucial tips she has learnt over the years in her LLB degree on this blog. Christianah also writes for Lawbore as a Future Lawyer.