Remember: when applying for work experience to institutions, firms or chambers, make sure you write individual applications specific to each place you’re applying to; do not send one application/cover letter to a bunch of different employers! Firms and chambers will receive hundreds, if not thousands, of work experience applications – make sure you tell them exactly why it’s them in particular you want to gain some experience with.
Law Work Experience Year 12: Visit Your Local Court
A free and hassle- free experience in your local area. Visit your local magistrates court, where a number of public proceedings of summary offences are open to viewing everyday.
This way you can witness a number of different roles at action – the defence, the prosecution, the legal adviser and the judge.
You can also experience the atmosphere of the court, and deduce whether or not this is something you would fit in to. Watch how the barristers work and figure out if this is something that you could see yourself doing!
Finally, study and analyse the structure of the court. Working out the proceedings process will give you a good insight into criminal law. Bring a friend so you can discuss these things together.
Here are some examples of the proceedings you can expect to witness:
Bail, remand, summons
Either way offences
Committal and indictment
Law Work Experience Year 12: Regional Solicitors
Your local branch of solicitors will most likely happily take on an intern for a few days. This is an invaluable opportunity to immerse yourself into the reality of practising law.
Make sure you understand the practice area the solicitors specialise in, and make a list of appropriate questions to ask about this during your time here. You may discover a new area of law you never knew of!
Here are some examples of the work you can expect to do whilst at a regional firm
Meet with the firm’s clients
Witness court proceedings involving clients
Preparing documents for clients
Researching legal issues for partners
Reading case-notes to understand a particular case study
Year 12 Law Work Experience: Citizens Advice
The CAB is also another service likely to be local to you. They provide free legal advice for ordinary individuals, usually regarding minor legal issues.
You could ask to shadow an adviser for the day, or perhaps take some time out of education after Sixth Form to train as a adviser yourself. This will give you exposure to perhaps the less cut-throat law that the legal system offers.
Networking is also very effective in gaining work experience. Have you got friends or family whose relatives work in the legal industry? You’ll never know whether or not they are willing to offer you some experience unless you ask!
A variety of opportunities could be within your reach – ask politely if you could shadow them for a couple of days or weeks. Explain how this could be beneficial to your career prospects, apprenticeship or university applications.
Law Work Experience Year 12: Keep Up-to-Date
Build your legal aptitude through reading. A simple and effective way of demonstrating your interest in the law is by swapping your next TV episode for an academic article!
This will be useful in university interviews and work experience applications if you need something to discuss.
Here are some examples of journals and publications you can read with big legal news: