November 21, 2023
Embarking on the path to becoming a solicitor or barrister in the UK is as thrilling as it is demanding. A robust academic record is pivotal, but what truly distinguishes a promising candidate in the competitive legal sector is practical experience. For first-year law students, the quest for relevant work exposure should begin early. This not only bolsters your law CV but also equips you with a practical understanding of the law in action. This article showcases the top opportunities available to first-year law students, focusing primarily on law firm experiences with our partner firms.

Why do I need work experience as a first year law student?

Gaining legal work experience in the first year of law school is crucial. It affords students an early understanding of the legal landscape beyond theoretical knowledge. Engaging in internships, pro-bono work, or shadowing professionals, students witness the law in action, which can profoundly influence their studies and future career choices.

Such experience helps in honing practical skills like legal writing, research, and client interaction that are invaluable in the legal profession. Additionally, early work experience is a significant differentiator in a competitive job market, enhancing a resume and establishing professional networks that can be pivotal for post-graduate opportunities. It’s an investment in a student’s legal career trajectory from the outset.

Virtual Internships

In today’s digital era, many law firms offer virtual internships, providing a flexible platform to understand the intricacies of legal practice. These remote opportunities can include case studies, interactive simulations, and legal drafting exercises. These programs, like those offered by our partner firms, can give you a taste of legal practice from the comfort of your home:

Insight Days

Insight Days provide a real-time glimpse into the legal world where first-year students can network with professionals and learn about the day-to-day workings of a law firm.

Summer Internships &  Work Placements

Summer internships are a golden opportunity to immerse yourself in the legal field. Partner firms often seek first-year, penultimate or final year law and non-law students for their summer programs, providing a foundational experience that is both rewarding and enlightening.


Internships in the UK legal sector are opportunities for you to gain hands-on experience in a law firm or legal department, offering an insight into the profession and practical skills development. These positions are highly sought after, so applying early and preparing thoroughly for the application process is crucial.

Work Placements

Work placements or ‘vacation schemes’ at law firms provide an immersive experience into the legal profession, allowing participants to engage with actual legal work and understand the day-to-day responsibilities of lawyers. These can range from one week to a month, offering a deep dive into legal practice.


Find the Right Firm For You

Discover which firms are offering internship opportunities


Pro-Bono Work Experience

Engaging in pro-bono work is a way to contribute to the community while gaining practical legal experience.

Legal Clinics

Legal clinics are educational law programs that provide students with hands-on experience by allowing them to work on real cases under supervision, thereby bridging the gap between academic studies and practical legal work. They provide indispensable practical experience and instill a strong sense of professional ethics.

Networking Opportunities

Networking is essential in law; engaging with professionals can lead to mentorship, internships, and job opportunities.

Other First-Year Opportunities

In addition to traditional paths, there are several other opportunities for first-year law students to explore the legal field:


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