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Life after law school: what's next?

View profile for Christie John
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With exam season coming to an end, many law students will be relieved to have finally shut their textbooks and submitted their assignments as they enjoy their summer break and look forward to upcoming graduation celebrations.

Graduating from law school is an incredible achievement and one to cherish as you embark on your professional legal career. In particular, completing a university degree amidst the COVID-19 pandemic carries a unique sense of success, as students were able to build resilience and enhance their problem-solving skills whilst facing unprecedented challenges.

I was fortunate to attend my graduation ceremony last week as part of the University of Leicester Law School's Class of 2021. Although it was a year late, it was nevertheless a memorable occasion for me to reflect on my university experience and celebrate with fellow course mates and family.

Between completing my final year exams and officially graduating, I worked in different legal practice areas such as Wills, Trusts and Probate and residential property, which is my current position. Searching for employment opportunities and figuring out your next steps can be challenging as a recent graduate, so I am keen to share some tips with those currently in limbo on what to do next.

Perfecting your graduate CV – a tip I learned from my university mentor was to ensure that your CV is well-structured, concise and contains work experience relevant to the jobs you are applying. For example, if you participated in any extracurricular university activities, it is valuable to explain a key achievement or outcome from those experiences and the skills you demonstrated. It is more effective than simply describing the tasks you completed, as the fewer words, the better! In structuring your CV, it would be beneficial to state your main achievements towards the beginning, as this will be one of the first points employers observe.

Using your contacts and growing your network – stay in touch with your university connections, whether students or staff, and take advantage of any available networking opportunities or potential job leads. If you have contacts who currently work within the legal sector, it would be ideal to ask them more about their career, as they could provide a useful insight into their chosen field. Also, staying active on social media platforms is invaluable in increasing your online presence, as you never know what opportunities could arise from them. For example, I landed my current role with Feldon Dunsmore via an initial chat on LinkedIn!

Apply for graduate roles or internships - if you know which area of law you would like to work in, applying for a suitable graduate role would allow you to showcase your academic skills and put your theoretical legal knowledge into practice. However, deciding on what area of law you want to specialise in can be difficult. Therefore, securing an internship might be a better option, as it would allow you to get a feel for what each practice area entails whilst developing essential transferable skills in readiness for working life.

If you are considering a career in property law, at Feldon Dunsmore, we offer Summer Vacation Scheme Placements for final-year university students and graduates. Keep an eye out for updates on our website and social media pages to find more information.

Finally, to end on an inspirational note, here's a simple yet meaningful quote from Theodore Roosevelt to encourage you to pursue your goals and remain resilient in your efforts:

'Believe you can and you're halfway there'.

From Feldon Dunsmore, we wish you all the best for your future legal career!