If you have time on your hands and wondering how you could be preparing for your future studies, here are some tips and pointers to help you prepare.
No matter what year you are in, there are things you can be doing to get ahead of the game. They require no spending of money, no picking up of the phone and speaking to people, all it requires is technology and some time.
Start by going on to social network sites such as twitter, Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn – if you don’t already have an account create one. Then start searching for relevant companies that will help you in your studies and careers. Remember the newspapers are always a great start, they will help keep you up to date with all the latest legal news and will help improve commercial awareness. Think about the specific area of law you wish to cover and start looking for companies that may help in your field.
If you haven’t already thought about what field you would like to go into now is the time to start researching and looking into it. Get out the notebook and highlighters (any excuse) and get writing. There are so many fields out there. List each of them to help I have listed examples below for both Solicitors and Barristers.
Banking & Finance - Capital Market - Competition/Antitrust Construction
Corporate/ M&A - Crime - Employment Environment
Family - Human Rights/Immigration - Insurance
Intellectual Property - Litigation & Dispute Resolution - Pensions
Personal Injury & Clinical negligence - Private Client & Charities
Private Equity and Investment Management - Projects and Energy
Property/ Real Estate - Restructuring & Insolvency - Shipping
Sports, Media & Entertainment - Technology, Telecoms and Outsourcing Tax
The Chancery Bar - The Commercial Bar
The Common Law Bar - Construction at the Bar
The Criminal Bar - The Employment Bar
The Family Bar - Public Law at the Bar
Shipping and International Trade at the Bar
You can also start to think about work experience. Most mini-pupillages and vacation schemes are offered to second year and above students. So if that is you start to research the different chambers and firms and start to apply. Chambers student has a full A – Z list of firms and chambers with their practice area. Whilst most spring places have been cancelled, applications are open now for summer and December places.
If you are in your first year, it is never too early to start. You could apply to local courts once they re-open to Marshall or look at Pro-bono opportunities. Again use this time to plan what you are going to do. Look what is available in your local area and start writing the emails and getting hold of contacts for when the pandemic is all over and things start to return to normal.
Going to see real life cases can be a good experience as well. At the moment courts are closed to the public. However start to look at the courts near you, see what types of cases they normally hear. Look at the open times for the public gallery. Have a look at the courts in London and how they run.
If you are looking at becoming a Barrister you will need to join an Inn of Court. You need to do this by the time you commence you BPTC but you can join anytime from your second year of study. So this is something else you can be looking into. There is a choice of four Inns of Court, Middle Temple, Inner Temple, Lincoln’s Inn and Gray’s Inn. Each Inn offers Scholarships for the BPTC so this is something you can research. Look at each page and the awards they give away each year.
Finally think about Mooting. Mooting is a big part of law and something at the OULS we encourage you to get involved with as soon as possible. Now is a great time to practice your skills.
The internet is a wealth of knowledge and we have a video up on our website as well to explain what mooting is if you are unsure. One of the hardest part of mooting is learning the language and lingo or get practicing on your partner, husband, wife, children or even the cat,dog or rabbit anything to get that experience in. Our M
aster and Mistress of the Moots have recommended some books. Mooting the Definitive Guide by Eric Baskind https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mooting-Definitive-Guide-Eric-Baskind/dp/1138851175/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr= and The Devil’s Advocate by Sweet and Maxwell https://www.sweetandmaxwell.co.uk/Catalogue/ProductDetails.aspx?productid=552390&recordid=5295
The most important tip I can give you is networking. Look at who’s who’s in your field. For example I am looking to go into the Criminal sector, so I have started to follow organisation on twitter such as @thecriminalbar, the CPS, LCCSA. From those accounts you should be able to find many more people and organisations that may be beneficial. Keep in the know in your field and you are half way there.
Written By: Victoria-Jayne Scholes