Legal careers

Whether you are looking for a training contract or pupillage, you will know that the market is very competitive, and that to be successful you will have to show that you have been selective in deciding which firms or chambers to apply to.

You will want to know what firms and chambers are looking for from applicants – basically, this means that in your applications you have to demonstrate what professional skills, knowledge and experiences you can bring to them.

Legal skills
These are broader than the training in, for example, interviewing, research, and drafting skills that your LLM LPC or LLM BPTC provides. In addition to these, employers will be looking for evidence of the practical skills that are required in all effective lawyers, such as problem-solving, communication, organisation, working under pressure to deadlines, team working, interpersonal skills, and presentational skills. Your time at Nottingham Law School can be used to develop a portfolio of these professional skills.

Legal knowledge
Employers will take for granted your knowledge of the core and compulsory subjects. What will start to make you more distinctive is your choice of GDL Research Project and LLM LPC or LLM BPTC electives – they will be an integral part of showing a firm or chambers why you are particularly interested in them.

Legal experience
There is no substitute for this, whether in private practice with a law firm, in the public sector with the Government Legal Service (GLS), a local authority, a magistrates' court, or the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS); in a voluntary organisation with a Law Centre or Citizens' Advice Bureau, in chambers, or marshalling with a judge. Please visit LawCareers.Net to find out about vacation placements with law firms and for information on mini-pupillages.

Finding the training contracts
There are quite a number and variety of sources. Some will be more useful than others, but you should use as many as you feel your needs require. The sites for advertised vacancies include LawCareers.Net, Chambers and Partners and Prospects, while for non-advertised vacancies there is The Law Society of England and Wales for the firms authorised by the Law Society to offer traineeships.

Finding the pupillages
As with applications for training contracts, it will be essential to target your applications for pupillage.

The source for these is the Pupillage Portal, whether a chambers is part of the Online Pupillage Application System (OLPAS) or not.


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