Pandemic has been nothing like ever before. If we thought life was tough before the pandemic well it’s even tougher now. This begs the question, how do I get into Law? It’s an overcrowded market, people are no longer seeing you in person, interviews are now being conducted online, it’s becoming harder than ever to get myself exposure and recognition. I need help! Look no further this blog will throw you a life line and set you sailing into an interview or even land you that legal job.
There are 3 habits that I developed and I will share these with you below:
1. Keep your resume/ CV “SHORT” and “EASY TO READ”. There are thousands of applications and resumes/ CV that employers review daily and your one needs to stand out. The best short you have is saying as little as possible with the best content possible. Pick out your best pieces of work (if you haven’t any then use any voluntary work or course work that you have done) use your initiative! If you went to court for free one day to help a friend or simply did a project, this shows that you are being proactive and use it to your advantage.
For example “I understood the procedure at court and attended on a volunteer basis to accompany the litigant in person and as a result I learned that the litigant had to be well prepared in advance, have the paper evidence to hand and to dress in court attire. The litigant in person appreciated my presence and it lifted the weight from their shoulders to know that my legal knowledge was helpful to the process.” If you have children I would avoid putting this on the resume, you can tell them in the interview not before they have had the chance to see you.
2. Be CONFIDENT. Nothing beats confidence. Note that I said “confidence” and not “arrogance”. There is a huge difference! Confident is a feeling or showing confidence in oneself or one’s abilities or qualities. Arrogance is having an exaggerated sense of importance or abilities. No one likes the latter so avoid being this at all costs.
It took my 7 years as a lawyer to work out that confidence is everything. You could have no knowledge of the law and still present confidently although I wouldn’t advise this approach! I would however couple confidence with preparation and be prepared to succeed my friend.
3. Have the Right “ATTITUDE”.
Yes, I had to make coffee for my team and supervisors as a trainee and that’s how many of us started off in law.
If you’re sat on a high horse thinking you deserve a job in law then think again my friend you could be in for a very bumpy ride! Whether it be printing, preparing bundles or taking notes in court the way you do this and your attitude shows all. If you do this with a smile on your face you are more likely to progress than those who don’t. I was given a chance to work in a great law firm after working temporarily for a year or so and I believe this was because I demonstrated a good work ethic and attitude. In the beginning I was not able to do the lawyer work to show my abilities but I did show up everyday with a great attitude of gratitude and this helped a great deal! If you shrug your shoulders and mop around with your head hanging low, I have to be brutal with you. No one will want to have you around! The market is overcrowded and you need to stand out so be nice and put a smile on your face, be prepared at some point to make some good coffee!.
Hanae Bennani, Solicitor of England and Wales.
Image from Eatingwell