Before starting university, you might be thinking about the opportunities available to you in your first year. The idea of graduating and getting a job may seem miles away, and it may feel daunting looking for legal work experience and extra-curricular activities. However, you don’t have to wait until your second or final year to start looking for career opportunities and ways to enhance your CV.
Participating in legal work experience in your first year will become increasingly valuable to you as you continue throughout university and into the world of work. By applying legal theory in a work-based context, you will be enhancing your employability as a graduate. Employers look for candidates with a CV that stands out from the rest. Although a good degree is important in a legal career, without legal experience a pupillage or training contract might be harder to obtain.
It’s important that you’re proactive as there are lots of opportunities for first year students to get involved in. Check your university social media and emails regularly for information on ways to gain experience – whether this is hands on or learning from those with experience in the industry. Make sure you are on the ball when it comes to researching whilst making the most out of the resources available.
What opportunities and support does Nottingham Law School offer to first year students?
Nottingham Law School (NLS) offers a variety of opportunities for first year students ranging from pro bono, mock assessment centres and our own student law society, LEX. Participating in these opportunities will complement your academic studies and will contribute to your legal experience. We recommend that you take part in as many activities as possible as this will not only help with personal development, but will also enhance your CV.
Nottingham Law School’s pro bono projects enable you to develop practical legal skills and gain valuable legal work experience in preparation for your professional life. It also gives you the chance to contribute to the community.
LEX law society offers workshops aimed at providing you with some of the practical skills a solicitor needs on a daily basis, such as client interviews or drafting legal documents. The society arranges a variety of networking events, which give members the chance to interact with legal professionals. It also holds social nights, networking dinners and drinks, trips to legal landmarks such as the Inns of Court, and the annual ball. NLS encourages our students to become a part of the LEX society to help you integrate into university life and make the most of your degree.
Nottingham Law School’s Employability team ensure that you make the most out of the opportunities on offer and support you throughout your time at university. The team offers a range of workshops including one-to-one sessions with NLS graduates from top law firms. This gives first year students the opportunity to talk with an employer face-to-face and ask any questions they may have about their role, what it’s like working for their firm or application advice and tips. The Employability team also provide sessions on CVs and covering letters as well as providing help on how to apply for Vacation schemes and legal work experience opportunities.
There are so many diverse first year opportunities on offer that there is something to suit everyone. Make sure to take advantage of this from day one!