Many of the firms who attended the September Scots Law Fair in the Playfair Library offer opportunities for legal work experience. If you are an undergraduate students this is a good way of sussing out whether a law career is really for you. Most of the legal firms that offer structured work experience target third year LLB students (or first year of the graduate LLB). Firms that definitely offer a structured scheme and their closing date for application include: HBJ Gateley (31 December 2015) Brodies (11 January 2016) Turcan Connell (14 January 2016) DWF (15 January 2016) Burness Paul (17 January 2016) CMS (31 January 2016) Dickson Minto (31 January 2016) Brodies (11 January 2016) DLA Piper (17 February 2016) Stronachs (31 March 2016) Shoosmiths (31 January – Spring work experience; 28 February – Summer). Some others have not yet made it clear when or if they will be offering summer work experience.
Of course, work experience is not only possible at these commercial firms. If you are interested in working for a particular firm, find out whether work experience s something routinely offered. if not, would it be worth approaching them speculatively? If you would like to talk through your strategy then make an appointment at the Careers Service.
The commercial firms’ deadlines mean you might be working on your applications during the Christmas break. You might find questions like ‘Describe a time when you worked in a team’, ‘when your communication skills contributed to the success of an event’ or ‘when you solved a difficult problem’. These are competency based questions which legal firms often ask, seeking evidence of particular skills or ‘competencies’ alongside leadership and commercial awareness.
The main reason for coming unstuck with these questions is to be too descriptive, with little or no analysis.
Remember the STAR mnemonic!
- S – a brief description of the Situation
- T – outline the Task to be done
- A – talk through the Action you took
- R – what was the Result of your actions
In addition, I will be running a Career Conversation on Scottish legal work experience on Friday 8 January – look out for it being advertised via MyCareerHub and book a slot to take part.