Whether you’ve successfully made it out the other side and secured a training contract, or you are still in the midst of the application tunnel, we all know the struggle!
But what happens if you have left university without the golden ticket?
Perhaps you had to juggle too many things: academics, extracurriculars, a job and/or caring responsibilities. Maybe you were exploring other career prospects, or simply did not know you wanted to be a lawyer from the get go.
Whatever the reason, it was just not beneficial for you to apply at that time. And that is okay! Everyone will inevitably have a different path (#cliche, but still true).
There are lots of different ways to get that elusive training contract. Here are five handy tactics to help you navigate the training contract route after you’ve already finished university.
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I cannot stress how important this will be during the application process, both for your personal and professional development.
There are many great organisations, including TLP, that are willing to help students, graduates, postgraduates and career changers at every stage of the process.
Here are a few:
SEO London offers guidance for aspiring corporate lawyers on its ‘Vacation Scheme and Training Contract Programme’.
This is available to graduates, postgraduates and career changers. The Programme includes soft skills and technical skills training, pre-vacation scheme training and much more.
RARE Recruitment are responsible for the brilliant ‘Rare Contextual Recruitment System’. Many firms have adopted this system to level out the playing field for applicants and to help them identify talented individuals irrespective of their background.
Individuals can apply to Rare here and, if successful, will be invited to discuss career prospects. The organisation assists candidates in a variety of ways such as personal development sessions and application form support.
The London Young Lawyers Group hosts monthly events for existing and aspiring lawyers to meet and take part in interesting discussions. The focus is on building relationships which is necessary for a career in the legal profession.
Finally, if LegalTech is your kind of thing then check out Legal Geek. This organisation provides a lot of information about this ever-changing area, as well as fun seminars where aspiring lawyers can trial new technologies.
Attending events is important for three reasons:
TLP provides advice about how to network at different types of events in our blog post How to Network: 12 Pro Tips for Standing Out, as well as how to improve your LinkedIn profile and stand out amongst other candidates in our article 10 Steps to Make Your LinkedIn Profile Irresistible to Employers.
If you have a job or other commitments during the day, some presentations are held in the evening and some events are held at the weekend.
After you attend a few events you will begin to recognise familiar faces. Do not be afraid to ask for contact details from the people you speak to and then follow up with them in an e-mail or over LinkedIn. This will enable you to ask questions you didn’t get a chance to ask.
Also, if you decide to apply for that firm, this is a great opportunity to keep in contact with your peers who may someday become your colleagues.
There is always strength in numbers. and support is necessary when you face some inevitable rejections, but also to celebrate together once the hard work pays off!
Following steps 1, 2, and 3 will present more opportunities and will open many doors. Just go for it!
If you see a post on LinkedIn about an opportunity from someone that you connected with at a previous event – go for it!
Speak to as many people as you can do and if you have a genuine interest in what they are doing ask if you can get involved in any way.
Above all else, keep positive! Do not get disheartened and ask lots of questions whenever you can. Nobody created the perfect application without a lot of hard work and perseverance.
It is also important to schedule time for taking a break and for taking time out to do things you enjoy.
If you are serious about getting a training contract, you’d better read these next:
Published: 13/04/18 Author: Anita Hodea
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