You've made it to university and taken the leap to join a law society – probably after reading our explaining the benefits and why you should. But there's more to being in a society than simply paying your membership fees, and you'll want to make the most of the opportunities offered to you in your membership. Here's how.
Be social and expand your legal network
The best way to get the most out of your membership is creating and maintaining relationships with other members. University societies are one of the best ways of making new friends when you start your degree, but there are added bonuses when this is a law society. If you have a close bond with your peers, you'll always know what activities are coming up and might get access to exclusive events.
Visit the society at the Fresher's Fair, if they're there, and have a chat with the people there – most likely these guys are on the committee, and will be able to answer any questions you have. If you chat with them, they'll probably remember you.
The first event of the year will probably be a social – yet another chance to bond with other members. If you meet the committee at the Fresher's Fair then you'll be able to recognise some faces at the social – but also don't be afraid of approaching a stranger. Everyone is in the same position at this point, and good communication skills as well as confidence are skills required of all lawyers. Making friends with a similar interest in law will also help make the next three years more bearable – you'll have someone to sob to about your contract law essay at 2am in the library when the Red Bull is wearing off.
Not only will making friends in the society improve your time as a member, but the connections you make now could be valuable for the rest of your life. You'll be rubbing shoulders with hundreds of future lawyers – some of whom could help you land the training contract of your dreams, or find you a job later on.
Join the law society committee
You won't be able to join the committee in your first year, but after that there's no reason why you shouldn't go for gold. If you've made enough friends in the society then getting elected should be easy, if you're dedicated enough. Roles are competitive, as committee positions look great on CVs and vacation scheme applications. One way of securing a position more easily is to create one! Many societies will only have traditional positions, so suggest something you think will be useful to the society and ask if you can run for it. Social media manager is a good one here, as the law field is increasingly using the internet as a marketing tool.
Law societies occasionally have their own publications or blogs, so you could easily get involved here. Or if your society doesn't have one, propose setting one up!
Law society activities
Once you've made the contacts, getting involved with everything that's going on in the law society should be easy. The two most common law-related activities that happen in a society are mooting and pro bono work, and both are a chance to develop skills and gain experience to help you in your legal career. Organise your own moot! Your society might also arrange a court visit, which is a good opportunity to see the natural environment of a lawyer.
Some law societies also set up their own career events, which could be vital for you landing a vacation scheme or training contract. Although the university itself will have their own career fairs, the law society most likely has stronger links to firms and you'll get more exclusive access to the right people.
If you take all of this advice, you'll probably end up the most well-known member of your university's law society! But make sure you're always in the loop – follow your law society on Twitter and Facebook and make sure you're subscribed to any email newsletters they send out. Your society may even have its own common room; if so, make sure you check out any noticeboards in there frequently to make sure you're not missing anything.