Legal work experience is usually seen as an essential criterion on law school application forms. However, not that long ago most students went straight to law school, meaning they would have little or no experience. The reality is, this is no longer the case, law schools largely highly regard any sort of experience particularly legal.

What is it?

Legal work experience is more and more being seen by prospective law firms as vital or at least important to a certain level. For instance, the law firm Turcan Connell asks for legal work experience on firm applications. They are not the only ones as many others explicitly want the applicant to list their legal experiences. This is because, as Harvard law school suggests, experience shows maturity and focus.

Legal work experience can be anything from volunteering in a local law firm or working at a Citizens Advice Bureau. For applying for traineeships or vacation schemes in Scotland, this is specifically important. It can be voluntary or paid. The reason this is highly valued is the qualities it gives prospective candidates. For instance, it shows potential employers that the candidate has legal interpersonal skills, maturity, and sound judgment. However, legal work experience is not the only thing that can show them this.

Other Experiences

Nowadays, many firms are placing a greater emphasis on other applicant experiences. They propose to look for well-rounded individuals who have other interests outside of law. They do not want robots after all! Some may even look to other roles of responsibility in looking for the preferred qualities. For example, high positions at sports clubs, debating awards, and mooting roles. All of these can show a firm that they are not only getting a student that is law focused but is equally well-rounded.

However, many firms do not always recruit those with law experience. Holding down a simple part time job may be enough. Yet it is good to keep in mind, this is not common. The recruitment manager at Shearman Sterling has listed the importance of work experience: insight into legal practice, understanding of the role of a trainee, experience of the work, your build-up of contacts etc. Therefore, despite other life skills being appreciated by law firms the valuable hands-on learning legal work experience offers is unmatched.

To Conclude

Overall, legal work experience can give anyone a head-start in the legal world and show employers how focused and set on a law career path you may be. This will increase the chances of them spending money on you to train you to become a solicitor. As law is an increasingly competitive world, showing passion is a necessity. Phoning up law firms or applying online for work experience shows you have the initiative to develop this necessity.