In current times, it has become the case (no pun intended) that lawyers are increasingly becoming more willing to advise students over coffee, lunch, or possibly drinks with other colleagues.
This could be a spontaneous suggestion during work experience or a completely brand-new experience to which many are unaccustomed to. Ultimately, the aim is to impress, and these are a few top tips to do exactly that.
Initially, to arrange these meetings, you may want to begin by emailing or contacting anyone you may already know within the legal field.
Ask to meet with them for a coffee to discuss your legal career. Because you already know them, they may be far more willing to provide you with advice.
2. Go to career fairs
You may not know anyone who work within the legal field and it may be difficult to access them. The best way to combat this is to go to career fairs. Perhaps your school or university is arranging one, or if there are any other career fairs that you may be aware of, just go!
Here you can meet lawyers – make sure to get their email and ask for further advice.
3. Email those who work at firms or chambers and see if they’re willing
This one seems a little random, but sometimes it works. Just email members of firms or chamber.
Send something brief and to the point – explain who you are and what you’re looking for further advice on. It would also help to know the firm or chambers the lawyer belongs to, so you can explain why you are emailing them in particular!
Don’t persistently email them every week – one email will do – and they may reply suggesting a short meeting to discuss your career journey. Be patient though because they may reply a long time after you write to them; they do have very busy schedules after all.
Want work experience? Here’s the info you need to get it:
The worst thing that could happen is that you end up having a meeting for an hour of awkward silences…
If you’re meeting for a one-to-one advisory session, then you should prepare by having a few questions ready.
If you don’t have any questions to ask, then perhaps discuss your own journey into law and receive advice directly on that.
Some ideas include:
What their job entails on a daily basis, or exciting moments in their career;
Your educational career;
Goals and aims;
Legal hot topics, which you can find by reading articles published by firms and chamber on their websites, or even on TLP;
Your opinion on current affairs;
What advice they have to offer on the application process.
Make sure to try to show your enthusiasm for law but, most importantly, remember that these lawyers are people too, they enjoy good company and good conversation.
3. Take risks
If the time feels right, try to ask for work experience. They may be far more willing if the meeting has gone well, and if you have impressed them, they may be eager to take you on-board.
Regardless of a possible rejection, if you don’t ask, you don’t get.
4. Do not assume
While it is likely they will be paying, this may not be the case and it is best that you bring along some cash just in case.
It is also important that you research the person you are meeting. You should know exactly what they do, who they work for, what they may specialise in, and so on.
5. Engage with colleagues
Occasionally, you may be invited to drinks with the team. This may be even more nerve-wracking than a one-to-one session with more lawyers scrutinising your every move…
Do not fear a situation like this – in fact, you may be able to use it to your advantage. Rather than sitting back and blending in, engage in conversation with the others and make yourself a memorable candidate who they could easily imagine working with them in the future. By doing so, you may gain many contacts who could be extremely helpful assets for the future.
6. Keep in touch
Now that you’ve met, it’s best not to let such a good contact go to waste.
Instead, ask to keep in touch via a professional networking site such as LinkedIn. That way, you can easily approach them in the future if necessary.
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