Happy 2011! I hope your New Year has started more smoothly than mine. It seems like only yesterday that I was lounging in front of the telly scoffing mince pies and watching murdering Stacey Slater bid farewell to Albert Square.
Fast forward to January and the blues are already setting no thanks to an exploding washing machine, a leaking toilet, the commute from hell (despite a sharp rise in my train ticket) and endless conversations with BT’s technical helpdesk, which so far has completely failed to restore my internet connection. What’s more the traditional New Year diet was ditched before it even started.
Ranting aside the start of the year is always a good time to inject some energy into your future career plans so since I’ve completely failed to stick with my one and ony New Year’s resolution I thought I’d draw some up for all you avid job hunters:
Aim to get the best grades possible regardless of what stage you’re at with your studies. With some many students now getting straight As and 2:1s anything less is likely to put you at a massive disadvantage.
Put 101 per cent effort into all your vacation scheme applications and don’t forget that many of the deadlines are this month. For more top tips on completing applications read our Survival Guide.
Try to gain as much work experience (law and non-law related) as possible. I know summer feels like a long way off but as they say the early bird catches the worm. Indeed, I’ve already had several enquiries from students who want to do some summer work experience on Lawyer 2B.
Get involved with plenty of extra-curricular activities such a sports, debating, mooting and pro bono and when adding them to your CV it’s worth noting that firms/barristers’ chambers don’t just want a list of the activities you’ve been involved with but the skills you’ve gained from do so.
Stop feeling sorry for yourself - you’re not the only person struggling to get a training contract or pupillage - there are plenty of others in the same boat. But thankfully, there are increasing reasons to be positive as evidenced by some of the latest newly qualified lawyer retention rates reported by the likes of Slaughter and May (read more).
Last but by no means least have fun - after all going to university isn’t just about getting a degree.