Editor’s weekly: Let the real work begin

With most freshers’ weeks now out of the way the serious work can really begin. If you’re a first-year law student that means getting to grips with your reading lists.

Meanwhile, if you’re in your second year and you dream of training as a hotshot lawyer, now’s definitely the time to start planning your future career. I know it sounds crazy to already start thinking about what you want to do after university. After all, you still have two years to go before graduating. But if you want to secure that elusive training contract, then you need to get your act together now.

Most large commercial law firms launch their annual graduate recruitment campaigns in the Autumn term by attending law fairs, while many will also hold presentations at their target universities. These events are principally aimed at second-year law students and are designed to help you learn more about the legal market. But firms will also use them as opportunities to sell themselves.

Indeed, as I soon found out, firms can be very persuasive. I remember going to a number of law firm presentations when I was at university. I wasn’t particularly bothered about finding out about when and how to apply for a training contract. As an impoverished student I was simply sucked in by the free food and drink that was on offer. But by the time the firms finished with me I had already taken my first tentative steps on the law firm graduate recruitment conveyor belt. And before I knew it, I was already signed up for two vacation schemes.

As regular readers of my newsletter will know, I eventually accepted a training contract with a very large City firm. And if the truth be known, I only said yes because a guy I was madly in love with was also joining the firm and it offered to pay for law school!

During the next few months law firms will go all-out to tell you why they are the best firms in the universe. So when you’re wandering around law fairs try to keep an open mind. That way you’ll avoid being blinkered by the free gifts and promises of eye-watering salaries.

A full list of forthcoming law fairs can be found in the Autumn 2010 issue of Lawyer 2B magazine, which is out next week.


PS – if you think you’ve left it too late to break into the legal profession think again. Lawyer 2B is hosting a brand new careers event on 1 December in conjunction with the College of Law for mature applicants. Click here for more information on how to register. But you better be quick because places are filling up fast.