Embarking on a career in law presents a formidable challenge due to its intense competitiveness. If you have unequivocally set your sights on this field, directing your efforts toward procuring Year 12 law work experience becomes paramount. This article will help you find avenues to not only amplify your credentials for forthcoming apprenticeships, university applications, and job opportunities but also illuminate your path toward a more refined understanding of the legal domains that resonate with you.

Year 12 Law Work Experience Shadowing

A proactive strategy involves researching local law firms and chambers, followed by reaching out to them to secure a week or two of work experience during your school breaks. This immersive journey entails the art of “shadowing” – an opportunity to observe solicitors and barristers as they immerse themselves in their daily professional routines.

Several reputable law firms enthusiastically embrace the practice of shadowing for aspiring legal enthusiasts. Allen & Associates offers week-long shadowing in family law, Carlton Chambers opens its doors to criminal law shadowing, Johnson & Partners provides insights into corporate law, and Carter & Lewis Solicitors tailors experiences across various legal domains. These firms recognize the value of offering GCSE and A-Level students the opportunity to observe solicitors and barristers during school breaks, providing firsthand encounters with real legal proceedings and empowering students to make informed decisions about their future careers. Through these initiatives, students gain practical insights, refine their career aspirations, and bridge the gap between theoretical legal education and practical application.


Volunteering equips you with a repertoire of practical skills that will inevitably shine in applications and interviews.While larger organisations might impose age restrictions, smaller entities actively welcome young volunteers. Delve into the facets of law that ignite your passion and explore organisations that resonate with those interests in your vicinity.

The UK legal landscape is adorned with a plethora of legal charities and law-centric organisations offering a diverse array of opportunities: 

  • StreetLaw UK: StreetLaw UK is an organisation that partners with law firms and legal professionals to deliver interactive legal education workshops to schools and communities. They often seek passionate young volunteers to assist in conducting these workshops, providing an opportunity for students to engage with legal topics in an accessible and engaging manner.
  • Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB): Citizens Advice Bureau offers free legal advice to individuals on a range of issues. While some larger branches might have age restrictions, smaller CAB offices often welcome young volunteers who are interested in assisting with administrative tasks, conducting research, and gaining exposure to practical legal situations.about specific legal issues. These organisations often require assistance in research, event organisation, and advocacy efforts.

Read our contributor’s account working at Citizens Advice Bureau

  • National Pro Bono Centre: This is a network of law students dedicated to providing pro bono legal services to individuals who can’t afford legal representation. This organisation often collaborates with local law firms and legal charities, offering volunteering opportunities for students to assist in real cases and make a meaningful impact in their communities.
  • Law Centres Network: Law Centres are organisations that offer legal advice, representation, and education to those who are disadvantaged or marginalised. Many Law Centres across the UK offer volunteer positions to students interested in gaining experience in areas such as housing law, immigration law, and employment law.
  • Young Legal Aid Lawyers (YLAL): Young Legal Aid Lawyers is a group that advocates for the importance of legal aid and access to justice. They offer networking events, workshops, and campaigns, often involving opportunities for young volunteers to contribute to their initiatives and gain exposure to the broader legal landscape.
  • Legal Charities and Nonprofits: Numerous legal charities and nonprofits, such as the Howard League for Penal Reform or Advocates for International Development (A4ID), welcome young volunteers who are passionate

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Formal Year 12 Law Work Experience

While the landscape predominantly leans away from formal law firm work experiences for Year 12 students, a handful of exceptions do exist. Distinguished firms like Pinsent Masons, Foot Anstey, and Fletchers Solicitors extend an array of work experience avenues for A-level students.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and Eversheds Sutherland orchestrate diversity programs designed to democratise access to the legal profession, inviting a wider spectrum of individuals. Researching their criteria could open doors to these esteemed institutions, fostering a path of excellence.

Online Legal Internships for GCSE and A-Level Students

Embrace the era of digital learning by exploring virtual legal internships. Renowned law firms and legal tech startups extend remote opportunities for GCSE and A-Level students to engage in legal proceedings, research cases, and collaborate with professionals, all from home. These experiences foster insights into real-world legal scenarios while honing crucial digital collaboration skills essential in today’s legal landscape.

Here are a few examples of law firms and legal tech startups in the UK that have been known to offer internships for A-level students:

Law Firms

  • Linklaters: Linklaters, a prominent international law firm, has been known to offer vacation schemes and insight programs for A-level students interested in pursuing a legal career.
  • Clifford Chance: Clifford Chance, another leading global law firm, offers opportunities like the ‘Headstart’ program that provides A-level students with insights into the legal profession.
  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer: Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer offers work experience opportunities for A-level students to gain exposure to the daily operations of a law firm.

Legal Tech Startups

  • Lexoo: Lexoo, a legal tech startup, has offered internships to students interested in both law and technology. This could include exposure to innovative legal solutions and technology-driven legal processes.
  • LawBot: LawBot, a startup focusing on AI-driven legal advice, might offer internships for students keen on exploring the intersection of law and technology.
  • Juro: Juro, a contract management platform, may provide internship opportunities that allow A-level students to explore how technology is transforming legal processes.
  • Avvoka: Avvoka, a platform for creating, managing, and negotiating contracts, could potentially offer internships that delve into the world of legal automation.

Other Areas to Explore for Legal Work Experience

Legal Hackathons

Imagine a platform where innovation meets the law – that’s the essence of legal hackathons. These exciting events bring together students, legal professionals, and tech enthusiasts to brainstorm and develop solutions for pressing legal challenges. As a GCSE or A-Level student, participating in a legal hackathon not only allows you to explore legal issues from fresh perspectives but also fosters your teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Such experiences stand out on your CV and show prospective institutions your eagerness to engage with the legal field in unconventional and inventive ways. Legal Geek Hackathon and Hacking the Law are 2 events which you can consider participating in.

Student-Led Legal Societies

Creating a student-led legal society within your school or community can be a transformative endeavour. As a GCSE or A-Level student, you possess the power to gather like-minded peers who share an interest in law. Organise mock trials, debates, and legal discussions that delve into contemporary legal matters. Inviting local legal experts for talks and workshops can offer a unique opportunity for hands-on learning. Not only does this initiative showcase your leadership and organisational skills, but it also provides a platform for networking and collaboration among budding legal enthusiasts.

Insightful Mentorships

Mentorship serves as a beacon for navigating the intricate pathways of law. As a GCSE or A-Level student, reaching out to experienced legal professionals through platforms such as Linkedin for mentorship can provide you with unparalleled insights. Engaging with mentors who are actively practising law enables you to grasp the day-to-day challenges and victories of the field. These relationships can offer guidance on educational choices, practical career advice, and opportunities to shadow or assist in legal tasks. A mentor’s perspective adds depth to your understanding of the legal landscape and can significantly influence your career decisions moving forward.

Legal Journalism

For GCSE and A-Level students with a penchant for both law and writing, legal journalism presents an exciting fusion of interests. Reach out to legal publications, websites, or even your school’s newsletter to contribute articles on current legal developments, landmark cases, or legal analysis. Crafting well-researched and articulate pieces not only sharpens your writing skills but also deepens your understanding of legal intricacies. This avenue not only provides you with a platform to share your insights but also establishes you as an authority on legal matters, which can be invaluable when seeking work experience.

Court Visits and Mock Trial

Engaging with the legal field need not be limited to an office setting. As a GCSE or A-Level student, consider arranging visits to local courts to witness legal proceedings firsthand. Additionally, organise mock trials within your school or community, where you can take on roles as lawyers, judges, and witnesses. These immersive experiences offer you a glimpse into the drama and dynamics of legal cases. They also develop your public speaking skills, critical thinking, and understanding of courtroom etiquette – qualities that will undoubtedly enrich your future legal pursuits.

Legal Debates and Moot Competitions

Channel your inner advocate by participating in legal debates and moot court competitions. These platforms offer GCSE and A-Level students a chance to engage in spirited discussions on legal issues, presenting arguments backed by sound reasoning and legal principles. Such experiences cultivate your ability to articulate complex ideas persuasively, enhance your research skills, and nurture your understanding of legal precedents. Some notable competitions include: 

  • Oxford Schools Debating Competition: This is a prestigious national debating tournament that invites students from schools across the UK to participate. While the primary focus is on general debating skills, certain rounds might involve legal topics or motions related to legal issues. A-level students with a keen interest in law and debate could find this competition to be a valuable platform to showcase their argumentative prowess.
  • Bar Mock Trial Competition: This is a nationwide event aimed at students aged 15 to 18. It simulates a criminal trial, giving students the opportunity to take on roles as barristers, witnesses, and even jurors. This competition provides A-level students with a taste of the courtroom experience, allowing them to apply legal knowledge, critical thinking, and advocacy skills in a competitive setting

Community Outreach

Harness the power of legal knowledge to empower your community. Organise workshops, seminars, or informational sessions on legal rights, responsibilities, and prevalent legal issues for local residents or fellow students. This initiative not only cements your understanding of the law but also demonstrates your commitment to making legal education accessible. Through community engagement, you showcase your leadership skills, empathy, and social awareness – attributes that resonate strongly with prospective institutions and employers.


Your journey to securing legal work experience during your GCSEs or A-Levels is marked by innovative and diverse avenues. Whether you venture into legal journalism, immerse yourself in court visits and mock trials, embrace the thrill of debates and moot competitions, or empower your community through legal education, each path is a stepping stone toward a future in law. These unique experiences not only set you apart but also imbue you with practical skills and insights that will shape your journey into the legal world.


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