Hi I'm Michael and I am your careers coordinator. I am here to help and guide you through your studies. I have put together guides of where your legal studies can take you. The opportunities available to OU Students and tips to get you ahead of the game.
If you would like any help with careers advice, CV writing or have any career tips you would like to share with other students then please do contact me.
For events available to students them please head over to our events page.
7 Skills For A Successful Law Career
7 skills for a successful law career is an original idea from Jemma Smith Editor at Prospects and has been edited for OULS members. To see the original post please visit www.prospects.co.uk
When embarking on a law degree, some individuals know exactly what they want to do at the end of their studies and what they need to do to get there. Others know the route they would like to go but are unsure how they go about getting there and then there may be individuals who have no idea what they would like to do at the end of their studies. It does not matter which category you fall into, there is no right or wrong answer.
Below are guides to help show you the different routes you can take with your law degree, the different practice areas available and the options open to you once you have completed your studies.
These options are in no way a complete list of what you can do with your law degree. These are just the main practical areas with an LLB. However some individuals go on to teach or go into research or government practice.
Becoming a solicitor is just one route your law degree could take you. Find out about the introduction of the new SQE exams and how they could benefit you. Read more to find out what you need to do to become a solicitor. .
Once you have completed your LLB you can then go on to complete Bar courses along with pupillage's to qualify as a Barrister. Read more to find out more information on how to become a barrister including Inns of Courts.
Most individuals believe that the traditional routes the LLB takes you is to become a barrister or solicitor. However there are other options. Cilex is becoming more popular as is becoming a paralegal. Read more to find out more information.
Irrespective of the career path you choose the following work experience will assist you in your journey to your future career:
Pro bono work - . Pro Bono originates from the latin phrase 'pro bono publico' - for the the public good. You provide your time for free by volunteering for organisations and in return you obtain the experience you need to become a better legal practitioner.
Pro Bono opportunities can be found at many different institutions. Some through the OU and OULS and others by looking around. Below is a list of some of the places you can find pro bono opportunities.
Public Legal Education & Streetlaw.
Local law centre's & Citizens advice bureau. (please see details below)
Law schools legal advice clinics -These are usually run by the university and ffer students real life experience working on client cases under the supervision of qualified lawyers. The OU runs Open Justice
Miscarriage of Justice & the Innocence Project - Some universities take on criminal cases to help victims of alleged miscarriages of justice.
The Free Representation Unit (FRU) - Students have the opportunity to acquire advocacy experience. FRU volunteers help with case prep and advocacy in tribunal cases under the supervision of case workers.
Court Marshalling - With court marshalling you get to shadow a judge over a set period of days. This allows students to gain an insight of how a judge and the courts work. For those associated with an Inns of Court, they can assist with setting this up. For those not associated you can apply by contacting your local court and asking who to address a covering letter and CV to.
Debating & Mooting - As a society we run a very successful mooting team. Please head to our mooting page for more information. Debating is something we are also looking to get involved in and do have some contacts for outside organisations, so if this something you are interested in then please do get in contact with myself or our chair Laurie.
Virtual Work Experience -.With Virtual work experience you will get to experience the day in a life of a solicitor and the type of duties you will be expected to take part in. Law firms will access your work and these can lead to vacation schemes and training contracts. Baker Mckenzie and White & case are just a few of who offer this virtual work experience (Please head to our Solicitors page for links to individual solicitors).
Voluntary Job Vacancies
Citizens Advice Bureau has teamed up with the OU to bring exciting opportunities to students via volunteering opportunities from home.
In some circumstances these opportunities can knock up to six months off a students further training.
For work from home opportunities please see the following link for more details https://do-it.org/opportunities/75d09178-98c-4b8a-bb30-104f66fe2be4.
Extra Curricular Activities
Part Time Jobs - Juggling studies with a job shows you can manage your time and multitask. It shows dedication and can enhance your skills.
Student Journalism - Keeping up-to-date with current affairs will help in training contracts and pupillage interviews as you will be assessed on this. A good way of keeping up to date is by writing legal blogs and contributing to our newsletter and submitting articles for publication. You can do this by emailing email@example.com
Student Politics & Mooting - By participating in events such as debating and mooting, shows organisational skills as well as leadership skills. It will also build on your confidence of speaking in public.