It can be difficult for school pupils to imagine what life as a lawyer is really like. The Law Society can help by offering advice on how to find work experience at an early stage and giving pupils the opportunity to meet with law students and members of the legal profession through various careers events.
Each year, we hold Legal Study and Careers Days at which pupils who are interested studying law can meet and ask questions of those studying and in the profession. Pupils will hear about the route to qualifying as a solicitor in Scotland and university entry requirements and will also hear real life stories about studying law, life as a trainee solicitor and a day in the life of a solicitor.
Our next events will take place in February and March 2020 - dates to be confirmed in due course.
Information letters will also be issued to all secondary schools in Scotland towards the end of this year. If you wish this letter to be sent directly to you please contact Lyndsey Thomson, Careers & Outreach Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
We're passionate about helping young people make well-informed decisions regarding studying law and qualifying as a solicitor. We aim to accomodate as many schools visits as possible by recruiting volunteer speakers, providing information packs and being a point of contact for any teachers who would like a solicitor, trainee or student to visit their school.
If you're a teacher or a pupil and would like a law student, trainee or solicitor to visit your school to talk about studying law and being a solicitor, we can assist with arranging this.
If you're a law student, trainee or solicitor and have been approached by a school to visit and talk about a career in law, we can provide a briefing pack and careers leaflets to assist with this.
Want to be a guest speaker?
When you were at school, did you wish you had recieved more information about studying law, what it was like to be a trainee, or what a solicitor does day to day? Are you interested in giving more information to young people currently thinking about their career choices? If you are a law student, paralegal, trainee or solicitor and wish to be involved with visiting schools in your area, please complete the online form to register your interest.
If you would like more information about any of the above, please get in touch with Lyndsey Thomson at email@example.com.
As a school pupil, finding work experience within a legal setting is not an easy thing to do. There are however a few options we would recommend that you explore:
The law firms Morton Fraser and Pinsent Masons run programmes specifically for school pupils so they may be a good place to start. A collection of law firms across the UK also got together to help young people find high quality legal work experience. Prime is committed to improving fair access to the legal profession and offer aspiring young people from ordinary backgrounds an insight into and access to work experience within a legal context.
Many organisations do not advertise for work experience so you'll need to be proactive in seeking this and this will include making direct contact with the firms . This will involve sending speculative applications via a well targeted CV and cover letter therefore, it is important to research the different law firms and organisations carefully before contacting them.
A helpful tool to use when deciding on where to apply for work experience is the Society's 'Find a Solicitor' function on our website which offers you the facility to search legal firms and organisations by area of work and geographical location. You can therefore filter the search by, for example, Edinburgh, and all firms based in that location are displayed.
Don't worry if you are unable to secure legal work experience, there are also other ways to build your CV and any kind of work experience is going to be useful, as it starts to show you can work as part of a team and hold a position of responsibility.
If you are keen to work in a big firm e.g. Pinsent Masons, then it’s good to start thinking commercially from an early stage. For example if you become part of a student society at university, try to get a role involving generating sponsorship, or organising an event perhaps with law firms – a networking event. These sorts of achievements will help you stand out. You may also think about volunteering at organisations which have a link to law, such as Age Scotland, Victim Support – though this is also something you can do during your degree. Again, in this role, even if you're not connected with law, then you could take on a position in a more commercial sense, for example being involved with fundraising, or publicity in relation to a charity. Bigger law firms are looking for commercial acumen, so it’s a good idea to take this perspective when thinking about boosting your CV.
Head down to court
Another good idea is to simply go down to your local court to watch a few different cases – this will give you a chance to find out more about the work of a court solicitor, and also maybe even help you meet people working in the legal profession. The more contacts you can make from an early stage, the better!
Remember to study!
It's also important to remember that your academic results will also be central to traineeship opportunities – so while it’s great to build your CV don’t forget to work hard for exams – recruiters typically look at your marks first and foremost.