Many A-Level students in London find Law an attractive option, with institutions unable to fulfil demand as a result of being over-subscribed. Glamorous portrayals in TV and film may have helped to create a certain perception of careers in law, but many students recognise Law to be a good foundation for different career paths and are drawn to it for this reason.
Students who do wish to pursue careers directly related to the subject need to consider how well-equipped they are before forging ahead. Obtaining a degree in Law is only one element of what is required, and those who do not work hard at becoming the ‘full package’, taking into consideration the non-academic aspects, may find themselves at a disadvantage when the time comes to compete with fellow graduates for work. Before even opting to study Law after their A Levels, students should assess what qualities are required not only for the course but for a career in law, should they wish to pursue one.
Although it is deemed an academic subject, Law requires a level of creativity for which some may be unprepared. Students will be supported through their chosen programme in order to develop certain skills, but they will be expected to display an interest in problem-solving and have a grasp of how to construct an effective argument.
After being accepted onto a programme of choice and negotiating their way through everything that the course has to offer, how can a student be sure that they will make a good lawyer? Whilst any course will provide a student with a good basis, self-development is imperative in order for them to flourish in any law-based career. Joining debate clubs and offering themselves up for pro bono work alongside their academic programme will ensure that students develop the skills that employers value.
Public speaking and interviewing skills are two key elements needed for any student wishing to pursue a role within a courtroom setting, so it would be beneficial to make the most of any practical workshops that are running as part of their programme. The courtroom is no place for wallflowers, so hands-on experience gained during workshops will help to develop invaluable self-confidence. Honing overall communication skills is equally beneficial, as students will need to rely on their ability to network and make contacts in order to secure practical experience.
Gaining work experience and development of valuable skills will come in handy when crossing over into the world of employment, but the preparation will mean next to nothing if a student is not adaptable. Throwing recent graduates in at the deep end is something many legal practices are known for, and, when all is said and done, whether a student sinks or swims within a pressurised environment is what will really determine whether they are cut out for it.