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The five-year checklist

Team Prosple

Applying for graduate jobs can be a long and arduous process. Applications usually involve multiple steps, beginning with an online application followed by interviews, assessment centres and testing. It’s a competitive process and it pays to plan ahead. Even if you are still early in your law degree, there are things you can do now that will make it much easier to succeed professionally later on.
The five year checklist

Applying for graduate jobs can be a long and arduous process. Applications usually involve multiple steps, beginning with an online application followed by interviews, assessment centres and testing. It’s a competitive process and it pays to plan ahead. Even if you are still early in your law degree, there are things you can do now that will make it much easier to succeed professionally later on.

First year

  • Develop a comprehensive study plan. Employers will consider your performance in first year subjects when you apply for internships, summer clerkships or graduate programs later on.
  • Start seeking out career advice so you can understand all the options available to you.
  • Visit a courthouse or organise to shadow a lawyer for a day.
  • Consider forming a study group.
  • Start reading newspapers and learning about the business world if you’re interested in commercial law.
  • Participate in extracurricular activities. This could be anything from sport, music and drama, to personal development and community service programs.

Second year

  • Look into study abroad opportunities.
  • Talk to members of your target profession or legal practice area.
  • Start to develop your soft skills and network at industry events.
  • Explore opportunities to intern at a law firm or complete volunteer or pro bono work.
  • Start to explore ways to demonstrate your legal skills outside of class. Consider mooting or participating in other law school mock competitions.

Third year

  • Register with the Young Lawyers division at your state Law Society to stay abreast of networking and job opportunities.
  • Research which electives you might wish to take during your final two years.
  • Attend law fairs and open days. Prepare questions that are tailored to the law firm/organisations you intend to visit.
  • If you haven’t been able to complete any legal work experience, consider opportunities outside of the legal sector that will help you develop transferable skills.

Fourth year

  • Attend additional law fairs and open days.
  • Apply for clerkships, internships or placements.
  • Research the types of firms or organisations that interest you and prepare your CV accordingly.

Fifth year

  • Apply for a place in a practical legal training course.
  • Explore possibilities for your legal training.
  • Apply for graduate placement work.