Michaela Mária Hanzelová, First Year Law Student and Bursary Winner
The Legal Advice Centre
The Legal Advice Centre (LAC) is a fantastic opportunity to gather a wide range of skills that will increase your employability.
Although first years are not offered a place as Student Advisors, they are welcome to apply for a position in the Support Team. That way they can become familiar with the centre’s practices, and get to know some of the advisors or supervisors during the reception hours; thus being better prepared to embark on their career as student advisors later.
The team of student advisors is formed by penultimate and final year Law students. They provide advice letters for their respective clients based on the information they gather during the client interviews. This way, students are able to practise client interviews and application of their legal knowledge to real-life cases still during Law School. And since those are the skills employers look for in applicants for vacation schemes, training contracts, and pupillages, as a former student advisor, you would be one step ahead of competition.
East London Business Alliance
Thanks to the partnership QMUL has with ELBA, students have the opportunity to get a place in a mentoring scheme with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer or CMS Cameron McKenna. Moreover, ELBA also organises a Legal Insight Club at CMS, covering topics such as “The Challenges Law Firms Will Face in the Next Ten Years” or “Managing Your Workload”. While neither of those opportunities help you to get some specific skills, both will help you to make an idea of what your career as a solicitor might look like, and what you should focus on during the university to make sure you have the biggest possible chance of obtaining a training contract.
QMUL Pro Bono Society Placements
QMUL Pro Bono Society is one of the most active law-related societies at Queen Mary; allowing its members to participate in volunteering, fundraising, or the Advocate newspaper. Moreover, the society, in partnership with law firms such as Clifford Chance, Dentons, DLA Piper, Reed Smith, and Berwin Leighton Paisner, organises pro bono placements that tend to take place once a week over the course of one month. Not only that students have a chance of helping the firms to provide free advice for those who need it the most, but also, some might get a chance to shadow a solicitor working on a case.
The society also organises international placements in the USA, Ghana, Cyprus, India, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, or Singapore.
Reed Smith Placement
In a unique partnership with Reed Smith, QMUL was able to open M130 Law in Practice Programme, which lasts for four years with the third year being spent on an internship in Reed Smith. Successful candidates who can apply at the end of their first year of legal studies will undertake the work paralegals or vacation scheme candidates tend to carry out. It is indeed a great headstart for those interested in the career of a solicitor.
Those are only some of the ways to make sure you benefit to the greatest extent from everything QMUL has to offer. The Law Fair, Careers Centre, and events organised by other law-related societies are also worth mentioning. Moreover, do not forget that firms and chambers look for well-rounded candidates. Thus, have fun and join even non-law-related societies - be it baking, squash, or drama. Also, look beyond what QMUL offers and apply for open days, vacation schemes, internships, mini-pupillages, and lastly, for training contracts or pupillages.