So you’re part way into your law degree, and all you’ve done is attend the occasional lecture and bluff your way through tutorials each week. You’re starting to stress that you haven’t done enough to impress potential employers. Why?
Aside from the academic pressure that’s weighing down on you like the world on Atlas’ shoulders, everyone around you seems to be following this unofficial extra-curricular checklist…
Serving on the Law Students’ Society
Being on the law society at uni says you’re in control, a great negotiator, and able to balance many things at once. Some law students love it but those that only sign up to the LSS for resume boosting purposes find themselves wondering, ‘why do I need to punish myself like this?’
File some stuff… I mean, get some legal work experience
If you can, find a lawyer to show you the nuances of legal practice essentials such as letter drafting, even if your early letters will likely be edited beyond recognition by the time they are sent out. It will prepare you for legal work in the real world where such tasks are the bread and butter of everyday work.
Participate in a competition or two
Many of the competitions are an attempt to mirror aspects of what a lawyer does in their job. Be it negotiation, cross-examination of a witness, or even a trial where you have to strategically manoeuvre the argument. If nothing else, you will show your employer you have the initiative to do more than get you degree.
Volunteer at a community legal centre
Spending time at a community legal centre is a great way to practice your legal skills AND you get to use those powers of legal perception to help someone!
Do I have to do all of this stuff?
The things on this unofficial checklist are all great extra-curricular activities for law students – but only if you’re interested in them. You’re already grappling with a demanding study regime, so save your free time for the things that you enjoy.
The reality is that there is no magic formula for scoring a graduate role. But there is a key to getting the most out of law school: do what you love and remember you don’t need to do what everyone else does to land your dream job.
So, what’s really on your law school checklist?
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