We want LawCareersNetLIVE to be an amazing opportunity for all delegates; to make that happen, we have put together a programme that features inspirational speakers, engaging workshops and chances to network. But it’s not just down to us – you have to hold up your end of the bargain. Here are our top tips for extracting the most benefit from the day, so that you can use what you’ve learnt to inform your next steps towards a fulfilling legal career:
- ListenMake sure that during the keynote, question time, panel discussions and workshops, you are actively listening to what is being said. You will hear tips, anecdotes and advice on interesting topics, all of which relate to the profession you hope to join and the career you aspire to have, so tune in. But also…
- TalkEngage with the firm recruiters, partners, associates and trainees that have taken time to be here. They want to meet you – or they wouldn’t have shown up – so have a couple of questions or a comment about the day up your sleeve, and show that you’re interested in what they do. We know it can be nerve-wracking, but you have to take the plunge and you may be surprised by how friendly and open most lawyers and recruiters are. Plus, making a good impression at an event such as this could ensure that when your application arrives in their inbox, they remember you.
- Keep talkingThis time, to your fellow attendees. You are a high-achieving group that has been selected to attend and you will no doubt have things in common and advice to share. It is always useful to hear from your peers, especially as they may have insight into firms, application processes, events, exams and more. It’s all part of developing your network.
- ContributeThis particularly applies during the workshops, where you will be in smaller groups. Again, a positive contribution (eg, offering a suggestion, answering a question, commenting on a topic, being a useful member of a team) will be noted by the firm representatives and reflect well on you as a potential lawyer.
- WriteDuring each of the sessions, make notes about what you’re hearing and who is speaking. There is a lot to take in and the day will go fast; you will miss things if you leave writing down your notes until later, so jot things down as you go and then…
- ReflectAt a later date, but not too far down the line, reread your notes and absorb what you learnt. Hopefully there will be some useful tips about how to proceed. There may also be names of people you met that you could follow up with – either a friendly, “It was great to meet you” type email or perhaps a more direct question. Either way, capitalising on what you’ve learnt and maintaining those ties is essential.
- Take actionPut into practice some of the things you learnt during the day. How can you improve your applications with what you’ve heard during the “Key advice for applicants” panel? What can you do to improve your commerciality, as learnt during your two workshops? What defines a successful career in commercial law, with examples you’ve heard from the keynote speaker and partners on the “Law firm as a business” panel? Analyse what you’ve learnt and then turn that knowledge into practical ways to improve your own efforts.
And have an excellent day!
Bethany Wren, host, LawCareersNetLIVE