Written By: Rabiya Khawaja

Many students experience that strain of finances and lack of time that comes with studying at university. So many have taken up part-time jobs in retail, cafés and other sectors to earn a few extra pounds, but there are many other benefits of taking up a part-time job which can be beneficial in your chosen career.


Within one shift you can encounter so many different types of people. Some friendly and polite while others are incredibly testing, you learn to be patient and deal with anything that can be thrown your way. In some circumstances, you need to be sensitive in the manner you approach certain people who may need extra help with finding items or understanding procedures.


Having part-time jobs shows future employers many positive things. Firstly, you can show you have commitment especially if you have worked for a few years. Having your job and study routine shows that you have a strong commitment to your job as well as your studies.

  1. MONEY!

This is the most obvious benefit of working, being a student is very financially staining from paying bills, rent and travelling. It is nice to have a regular pay check coming in aside from the student finance to help cover basic necessities.


If you are lucky you can get a job to gain some experience in the field you want to go. This allows you to gain experience and make new connections. While studying you gain practical understating of the work environment and real-life training and an invaluable insight into what your future might be.


The financial strain on students can be daunting, but the right attitude to budgeting can help relieve the stress. You can use money from work and student finance to manage your bills and rent as well as leave some over for a night out. Having a job allows you to spend more wisely since you have to work hard to earn it and you can always look forward to your next pay check.

  1. SKILLS: 

ORGANISATIONAL SKILLS: when working alongside studying, you need to be able to organise your time and your work accordingly. This can be difficult as you have different priorities, but you need to manage your time, some people find doing school work on the weekdays and working weekends easier. If you are lucky you may have flexible shifts and a workplace that understands your workload so may be able to offer your hours accordingly

TEAMWORK: you will most likely be working in a team and from this experience, you will be well equipped to deal with a variety of people and personalities.

DEALING WITH PROBLEMS: you may be faced with something unexpected and something you weren’t trained for; these experiences will give the initiative to deal with things that may not go according to plan. They are also good talking points during interviews.

Having a part-time job will expose you to an array of situations and people, you may not have dealt with before. Recruiters will see that you have practical skills in the real world, you learn to interact with people and develop more skills than you could imagine!


Extra Activities Outside the Law Lecture Hall

In an era of intense competition to get into the top law firms, you need to prove yourself as an all-rounder with a wealth of experience. Recruiters look for students who have practical experience in the real world, not just academic merit alone. Here are a few activities law students should get involved to boost their prospects.

Marshalling: this is a great way to learn about the inner workings of a court. Magistrate courts and Crown courts normally offer marshalling and you should approach them by sending an email to enquire about any availability. The experience allows you to see the court in action and if you are lucky enough to shadow a judge you can ask them questions about how they reach their judgments or what cases are the most memorable?

Open Days and First-year Springboard Scheme: many firms will offer first-year law students a chance to visit their firms. It allows you to learn about the firm, their environment and atmosphere. However, it works both ways, firstly it allows you to see if the firm appeals to you, and the firms can assess whether you are the candidate they want. If you are lucky and impress them enough you may secure a vacation scheme or a training contract. Attending these open days is beneficial when you want to later apply for a job at these firms as it shows them you have already taken the initiative to learn about their firm and is a good talking point in an interview.

Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB): volunteering at the CAB is a great way of learning how to deal with clients. You learn the techniques of interviewing them and extracting the relevant information. You confront the realities of the clients’ hardships and there is a deep sense of satisfaction when you are able to support them. The CAB thrives on the help of volunteers and there is a great sense of giving back to your community.

University Societies: joining your university society is a great way to interact and meet new people. You learn to network by attending various events hosted by the society. In addition, you can apply to be a president, vice president or various other roles to gain experience in taking on projects and show law firms your proven record of being responsible and having leadership qualities.

Local Law Firms: working at local firms are a great starting point for law students, although far from the glitz and glamour of city firms, they have the ability to give you great experience and skills that city firms are looking for. The local firms are normally focused on niche areas of law such as immigration and personal injury but their lawyers spend a lot of time training you. These lawyers have years of expertise and they really nurture you to bring out the best of your skills.

These are some of the many opportunities law students needs to take advantage of. Starting early is always beneficial and gives you more time to develop and hone your skills. So, expand your horizon and look for as many opportunities as you can!



Volunteering with the Citizen Advice Epping Forest District

After spending my first year at university studying law, learning all the theoretical elements and digging my head into the textbooks, I decided to volunteer at the citizen advice bureau to get an understanding of how the law impacts people on a day to day basis. Walking through the corridor on my first day at Citizen Advice, formerly known as the Citizen Advice Bureau. I was greeted with smiling faces. I was introduced to a friendly and caring environment in which all my colleagues were an instrumental factor in helping me settle in.

Citizens Advice thrives on the help of volunteers and the generosity of strangers. Clients come with a whole array of problems including homelessness, mental health issues, benefits and debts. This opportunity has allowed me to see at a practical level how to deal face to face with some very vulnerable clients. Additionally, I have seen how Citizens Advice helps clients on a personal level through the way my supervisor goes to all lengths possible to find the best solutions for her clients. The dedication posed by the volunteers is unmatched and is in many ways very moving.

My main role involves administration work, filing, writing and drafting letters and helping the advisors with anything they may need. Within my fair share of time, I have witnessed many unexpected situations, clients that seem frazzled and confused about the course of action to take as well as annoyed and agitated. I have learned the way to proceed with such clients and trying to calm them down. When such situations arise being able to listen is a key skill while allowing them to explain their problems. However, the most satisfying element of being a volunteer is when you see a client that is joyful and happy after their problems are sorted.

I decided to volunteer as a co-editor of the Bureau Buzz for the Epping district. I was lucky enough to be accepted and worked on my first newsletter in June. My role involves editing the format and layout of the buzz before sending them out to the staff members.

Although our roles individually seem minuscule, when looking at the bigger picture, you realise that all efforts are helping someone else’s life. I may be a volunteer for a short amount of time, but I would love to stay for longer and see many more smiles.

Written By: Rabiya Khawaja