HOW TO GET EXPERIENCE AS A LAW STUDENT EVEN BEFORE COMPLETING YOUR LAW DEGREE
Getting experience as a lawyer while still in the university or law school is a great way to prepare for the legal profession and give yourself a competitive edge when applying for jobs after graduation.
It's not uncommon for job postings seeking young lawyers to demand several years of experience, often ranging from four to five years, which can seem unreasonable and even comical at times. We understand the frustration as young lawyers or law students therefore, the question that readily comes to our minds is where do employers expect us to get the "several years" of experience from?
The answer is not far-fetched, here is a practical guide on how to get experience as a law student before finishing your law degree:
1. Internships:One of the most common ways to get legal experience as a law student is throughinternships. Many law firms, government agencies, and non-profit organisationsoffer internships for law students or aspiring lawyers. Look for opportunitiesthat align with your career interests and start applying early. Internships canprovide you with valuable hands-on experience, networking opportunities, andmay even lead to a job offer after graduation.
2. Volunteer Work: Volunteering for legal organizations and non-profits can provide you with exposure to different areas of law and legal issues. Pro-bono work is also a great way to gain experience and help the community. Look for opportunities that match your interests and skills, and reach out to local organizations to inquire about volunteering opportunities.
3. Clerkships: Judicial clerkships can be another great way to gain legal experience while still in school. Clerkships offer the opportunity to work with judges, research and write opinions, and gain an understanding of the court system. Clerkships can also be a great way to build connections that may come in handy throughout your career.
4. LawSchool Clinics: Many law schools offer clinics where students can work on actual cases under the supervision of experiencedattorneys. Clinics provide valuable experience and allow you to developpractical legal skills, such as drafting legal documents and conducting clientinterviews.
5. Networking: Networking can be a powerful tool for law students looking to gain experience. One can attend legal events, join student organizations, and connect with alumni to learn about their experiences and seek advice. Building a strong network can help you find job opportunities, connect with mentors, and gain valuable insight into the legal profession.
By following the aforementioned steps, you will not be left completely clueless and experience less when you take your first steps into your legal career.