Employability newsletter Bloomsbury
Careers Centre opening times Monday
9am - 7pm
9am – 7pm
9am – 7pm
9am – 7pm
9am – 5pm
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Sunday 10am – 5pm (teaching weekends only) To make an appointment, call in at the office on the ground floor of Ridgmount Building, or call us on 01483 216681
Quick Queries: Normally Monday to Friday at either: 12pm -1pm and 3pm – 4pm or 12pm-1pm and 2pm-3pm (these times are subject to change, so please check on Elite or with the Careers Service if Quick Queries are running, and for the times that day) Quick Queries are short 20 minute drop-in sessions for you to speak with a Careers Adviser face-to-face or by telephone. Sign up for these 5 minutes before the start of the session (unless you are a part-time student – in this case you can just sign up on the day) either in person at the desk, or by phone. These are provided on a first-come firstserved basis.
Pro Bono department opening times: Monday - Friday 9.00am - 5.30pm Come to see us in S126 on the 1st floor of the Store Street Building, call us on 0148 3216528, or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
January 2014 edition
Welcome to the January edition Happy New Year! We wish you a warm welcome back to The University of Law after what was, hopefully, a refreshing break for you. The spring term is a demanding one from a career perspective for both aspiring solicitors and barristers, and in order to ensure your ongoing success, we recommend that you draw from all of the support available to you, whether this be from your network of family and friends, or from your tutors and the Careers Service here at the University. This month’s newsletter is dedicated to an invaluable resource that is available to you 24/7. This is The Future Lawyers Network, and particularly, the award-winning StEPs programme. This is a specialist online legal careers programme, designed to help you take the first ten steps towards your future career as a successful modern lawyer. The advent of the New Year brings us closer to various deadlines for a plethora of vacation schemes (spring and summer), so do have a look at the full vacation scheme deadline information available at https:// www.lawcareers.net/Solicitors/WorkPlacementDeadlines, and also at the information in this newsletter about some of the vacation schemes deadlines with a closing date before 31 January. For aspiring barristers, we are only a few months away from the opening of this year’s Pupillage Gateway, but it is not too late to improve your future applications by undertaking mini-pupillages, marshalling and any other activities which will be relevant. For those of you intending to tread the path to becoming a barrister, don’t forget that the BPTC online application system closes next week. Key dates are outlined within this newsletter. 2014 is going to be another extremely busy year in the Careers Service. We have a wealth of valuable workshops specifically designed to give you that all-important competitive edge. In addition to our workshops, we also have some key employers on campus to deliver insightful talks. Keep an eye on Careers Events (Bloomsbury Employability Service page) in the My Employability tab on Elite for more details. We wish you all the best with your studies in 2014, and look forward to assisting you with your career goals. Candy Kobrak Editor page 1 of 4
Dates for your diary: Vacation schemes Most vacation schemes have deadlines of 31 January - but not all. Here are some firms with deadlines before 31 January:
Spring vacation schemes closing dates: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP (12 January) Weil, Gotshal & Manges (17 January) Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (28 January)
Summer vacation schemes closing dates: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP (12 January) Burges Salmon (14 January) Herbert Smith Freehills LLP (15 January) Weil, Gotshal & Manges (17 January) Hogan Lovells (17 January) Dundas & Wilson (27 January) Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP (28 January) NB These are a selection only. For a full list of vacation scheme deadlines (including those with a deadline of 31 January) please refer to https://www.lawcareers.net/ Solicitors/WorkPlacementDeadlines
***Stop Press*** Chambers Student Guide has sent us a limited number of wall charts, detailing both vacation scheme and training contract deadlines. Grab a free wall chart now from the careers office.
Inns of Court Dates 31 May 2014 – Closing date for Inns of Court membership applications (if starting the BPTC in 2014) • You do not need to be a member of an Inn before you apply to it for a scholarship. • If you are already a member of an Inn, you cannot apply for a scholarship at another Inn. You should apply only to your own Inn.
Student Employability Programme – StEPs Don’t just take our word for it – the Association of Graduate Recruiters awarded the StEPs programme first prize for Best Preparation for Work (Higher Education). See a photo of the trophy on the left. You can access StEPs through the Future Lawyers Network (www.law.ac.uk/futurelawyers or through the My Employability tab on Elite). Each StEP includes a comprehensive resource book, a virtual workshop, practical activities, useful weblinks and FAQs.
What does each StEP cover? StEP 1 - Understanding the legal market • Do you want to be a solicitor or barrister? • What type of legal employer do you want to work for? • What sort of law (practice areas) appeals to you? StEP 2 – Assessing your employability Legal recruiters are looking for: • Academic attainment • Work experience (legal and non-legal) • Skills and competencies StEP 3: Planning your legal career To qualify as a lawyer, you will need to juggle three different, but interrelated, timelines (education, experience and recruitment), in order to maximise both your time and your chances of success. StEP 4: Researching legal recruiters This StEP aims to highlight the different areas you will need to research, and the information you will require, as you move through the recruitment process. StEP 5: Gaining experience and making contact Explore: • Securing legal experience • Securing extracurricular opportunities • Finding opportunities for contact with the profession • Making one-to-one contacts StEP 6: Writing legal CVs and covering letters • The curriculum vitae (CV) is the traditional method of application, and is widely used throughout the legal profession • Covering letters are also an essential part of the application process StEP 7: Completing application forms • The application form is becoming increasingly common as the method of applying for training contracts and pupillages, particularly amongst larger recruiters • Application forms will vary, but the principles behind them remain the same page 2 of 4
BPTC applications Applications for a place on the BPTC must be made through the Bar Standards Board’s central applications system: BPTC Online (https://www. barprofessionaltraining.org.uk/s4/ oa/candidates/start.asp). You are strongly advised to submit your application as early as possible. The online application process timetable is: 9 January 2014 - Closing date for first round applications (2.00pm) 6 February 2014 - System reopens for new applications into the clearing round (9.00am) 5 March 2014 - Offers start to be released from first round applications (9.00am) 2 April 2014 - Acceptance deadline for first round offers (2.00pm) 15 April 2014 - New clearing round applications and unsuccessful first round applications are released to Providers (2.00pm) (Offers are released continuously in the clearing round. There is no set date by which all offers will have been made in this round) 31 May 2014 - Closing date for application to an Inn of Court - you must be a member of an Inn to commence a BPTC (Students are strongly warned that if there is likely to be a problem with your application to an Inn, please ensure that you apply as early as possible as this may mean that you cannot start a course if your membership is not confirmed in time for enrolment) 29 August 2014 - Clearing round closes (2.00pm) 12 September 2014 - The system closes (2.00pm)
StEP 8: Preparing for Interviews • If you have been called for an interview – congratulations! It is a real achievement; the recruiter thinks you are a realistic candidate for a training contract or pupillage • This StEP aims to get you ready for the big day, something you need to take seriously, as ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’! StEP 9: Preparing for assessments • Legal recruiters are increasingly using practical assessments and tests as part of their selection procedure • This StEP looks at the most common exercises used in the selection process StEP 10: Managing your career Consider your next steps after The University of Law, whether: • You have secured a training contract or pupillage • You are still looking for a training contract or pupillage • You are considering non-legal alternative professions
Mentoring scheme update As reported in December’s newsletter, our mentoring scheme launch night on 21 November was a great success. Since then, the scheme has had several positive mentions in a number of legal resources, including the Lex 100 and LawCareers.Net. Articles have included the following quote from one of this year’s mentors: ‘Many people gave me advice and guidance when I was a law student, and I now hope to be able to do the same’, said Ince & Co solicitor Victoria Ogden, who is participating in the programme for the fourth time. ‘I was delighted to learn recently that my mentee from last year’s scheme went on to secure a training contract at a City firm in the practice area of her choice.’
Case study Kate Newton: GDL and LPC 2011-2013 (BSc Media, Communications & Society, University of Leicester) Training Contract at TWM Solicitors – August 2014 Getting a training contract has occupied my mind practically every weekend since I decided to embark on the GDL. Everyone tells you that you’ll never find one, and that competition is rife. The summer 2013 edition of Young Lawyer magazine even alluded to the fact that getting a training contract was like finding ‘gold dust’. However, do not let this deter you! I’ve had copious amounts of advice on how to successfully apply over the past 2 years. Some people tell you to focus on a few law firms, research them really well, tailor your application to their firm… I identified what types of practice I was interested in, what types of law firms I wanted to work in, what size law firm I wanted and the geographical area. I then used LawCareers.Net to narrow my search using these criteria. I wrote a very brief cover email to send to all of the firms within my search, stating why I wanted to practise their areas of law, why that size firm and why that location. I then proceeded to email my application to all of the firms identified in my search.
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Once you get to the assessment day and interview, the biggest hurdle has passed. My advice for this would be to research, research, research. I watched online videos, read their blogs, learnt facts about the firm, researched the partnersâ€™ and traineesâ€™ profiles, researched any external projects they supported, and gained an understanding of what they are looking for in a trainee. If your assessment day will involve psychometric tests such as verbal reasoning, then practice is the key for these. Online practice tests are free and invaluable ways to make sure that you donâ€™t miss easy marks. In terms of your interview, prepare for a grilling! I received feedback that my enthusiasm shone through, so be enthusiastic, retain eye contact and relax, so that you come across as a genuine person, and someone they could envisage working for them and dealing with their clients.
Employability Service Bloomsbury January Newsletter 2014