In this blog, we will discuss what you can do as you start your final year of college or sixth form to prepare for entering the workplace. Entering the world of work can be scary and exciting. As you start your final year it is important to spend time thinking about your future. Research, organisation, and skill development are all essential this year. This blog would also apply to anyone who received A-level results this year and did not get what they expected and has decided to take a year out and apply for an apprenticeship next year.
Do Your Research
Before you start your applications and commit to a legal apprenticeship it is important to do proper research into what it entails. You need to research the following;
- Types of apprenticeships out there and qualifications they give you
- The application requirements in regard to grades and skills and when and how to apply.
- Whether the firms that offer this would be a good fit for you regarding their culture, training quality, training providers they use, areas of law, location and other factors
After you have done the research review it and list the apprenticeship programs that are your favourite. Make sure you note their deadline for applications and don’t miss out on any opportunities. Applications are better in high quality than quantity, so focus your efforts on a handful of your most-suited law firms and programs.
Be Self Aware
Reflect on your strengths, interests, and career aspirations. Make sure the program you choose will use your strengths. Law is very diverse and covers skills such as research, client interaction, courtroom, administrative tasks etc. For example, if you hate public speaking don’t go for a program that focuses on court litigation.
Prepare A Strong Application
Your application is a chance to make a strong impression. Your CV can be generic but your covering letter or answers to application questions should be personal to the program you are applying for. These applications will all take a lot of effort and can be time-consuming. You need to allow time to do them. This is where your research and organisation will all help. Your application should showcase your passion for law and in particular why that particular law firm and training program are suitable for you. Also, consider why you choose an apprenticeship route. It should highlight transferable skills and why you would fit with this firm and training program.
Build Your Skills
You still have a year to build any skills that you feel may be lacking which firms require. These will all give you a head start in the application process and eventually in the role. The most common skills that law firms are looking for are communication, attention to detail and research. However, you should check the job adverts of your desired firm to help. Some examples of things you do that may lead to gaining skills are;
- Practical skills workshops such as problem-solving, advocacy and debating are often run by law firms via schools and colleges.
- Work experience in law firms
- Charity work
- Part-time jobs
Do not be afraid to think outside the box, for an apprentice role, no one will be expecting years of legal experience. You can use a lot of different examples in your everyday life to show you have the skills they are looking for. For example, if they say they want to see teamwork, you could use the time you helped someone on your football team. If they want to see organisation skills, the time you helped a charity run a cake stand.
Build Your Contacts
Connecting with legal professionals is very important. They can provide insights, guidance, and potential opportunities. Attend career talks, workshops and other events where you can meet lawyers. You can also go online and connect with legal professionals on LinkedIn.
Practice for your interviews
Being prepared for the interview is essential to securing a legal apprenticeship. Practice answering common interview questions and be ready to discuss your reason for applying and your skills and interests. It is really important that you have an honest well well-thought-out answer for why you chose law, an apprenticeship and the specific law firm.
As you prepare for a career in law you need to keep informed on legal news. Subscribe to law-related publications especially in the areas of law you are applying for.
Preparing to leave school is exciting. By following the above steps you will increase your chance of securing a career in an area of law and firm that you love. Visit our careers page for more information on our apprenticeships. At Attwell’s, we normally hire apprentices in September. Applications normally open around 11 months before the September start date. The application deadline is normally the spring of the year you will be starting. This is when we then review the applications and start the interview process. Keep an eye out on our website for how to apply.