Why should you apply for a committee position?
One of the main advantages of joining the law society’s committee—and of becoming more involved in the society generally—is boosting your employability. Committee positions look great on CVs and vacation-scheme applications because they help you develop many of the skills sought out by employers, including initiative, leadership, organisation and communication.
That being said, committee positions are competitive and time-consuming. If you don’t have a passion for your role beyond being able to put it on your CV, you’ll have trouble getting elected and performing well in your role. You should apply because you’re interested and passionate about the position, not just to boost your career chances.
How do you apply?
This will depend on what position you’re running for and what your law society is like. Law societies at most universities tend to be rather big and influential, so students running for executive positions (like president or treasurer) will often have to run a campaign to get elected. You might have to create an engaging campaign video and figure out how to communicate your message effectively throughout the society. If you’re running for other positions, you might have to deliver a speech or write a manifesto.
Tips for a great application
No matter what position you’re running for, there are a few things you should keep in mind to make your application as compelling as possible.
Decide on a position
To make a convincing application, you have to be sure that you’re right for the role. Consider how much time you’re willing to commit to the society, your interests and your personality. If you’re a great leader and are willing to sacrifice a lot of time, you might consider running for president. If you’re passionate about increasing the outreach of the society, you might want to run for a public relations or social media position. You might even consider putting forward an idea for a new position entirely.
The reason it’s essential that you pick the right role is that you’ll have to show that you’re qualified and committed to it. You have to be convinced—and be able to convince others—that you have the experience and the dedication needed to make the law society the best it can be.
Make yourself visible
If you’re campaigning, you should definitely be trying to reach as many people as possible. However, by the time you run for any position in the law society, you’ll ideally already be quite well-known.
This doesn’t mean you should actively be campaigning from the moment you join, but you should definitely be an involved member to stand a good chance at being elected. Attend society events, meet new people and seek out positions of responsibility whenever you can. You can’t be a part of the committee in your first year, but you might want to consider taking on responsibility by becoming a first-year representative, for example.
Bring new ideas to the table
This is crucial regardless of whether you’re running for social media manager or for president. You’re in the committee to drive change and ensure the best possible experience for the society’s members, so you should be prepared to suggest changes and improvements.
Think of the changes you’d like to see in the society, and speak to other members to see what they think should be improved. Come up with a few good ideas related to your position that could make a genuine impact—it could be anything from suggesting new events and extracurriculars to providing more career guidance.
Balancing committee work and study
Balancing your law degree alongside a committee position can be challenging. You’ll have meetings and work to do on a regular basis, and the best advice we can give is to stay organised. Make sure you’re keeping track of everything you have to do and allotting a specific time to do it.
Try to stay on top of things as much as possible, but don’t forget that you’re also at university to have fun. Don’t devote every second to society or uni work; make sure you still leave some time for yourself. If you manage your time wisely, you’ll certainly still have time to socialise!
Next article: Running a law society