Kate Exall, Senior Lecturer in Law and LLB 2-year programme leader, writes:
On Thursday June 15th over 20 students attended the inaugural Law Employability Day at Park Campus. Attendees ranged from first years through to Post Graduate students and they enjoyed 2 key note speakers and a workshop activity finishing with a networking lunch. The event was organised by UCEE and was supported by Law tutors to give students some practical support with their careers and voluntary activities.
Lisa started by explaining the Changemaker Portal which contains all sorts of useful information, tips and advice as well as being a one stop shop for booking appointments, having mock interview practice, CV checking and volunteering. For more information visit : https://mynorthamptonac.sharepoint.com/sites/student/changemaker-hub)
The first talk was by Laura Swallow, a solicitor with Arquiva, a firm that provides the infrastructure for telecommunications providing for example telecom towers and digital and satellite services both at home and overseas. Laura works in the commercial property section working with land owners and others to secure and maintain sites for their operations. She is also involved in graduate recruitment for the firm. Her advice included:
- Paying attention to detail in applications
- Looking at a range of employers for training contracts – they don’t have to be done in private practice
- Be commercially aware
- Get a range of experience during training
- Take all the opportunities that are offered.
Isla from Lawcareers.net went through the dos and don’ts of making applications for any job and the importance of commercial awareness. They work with graduate recruiters and have a range of resources and material available on their website (http://www.lawcareers.net/) to help students with the next stages in their careers. Isla’s top tips included:
- Paying attention to detail – don’t get the firm’s name wrong or make spelling or grammatical errors
- It is better to apply for a smaller number of jobs rather than sending bulk emails out.
- Target each one to the specific firm and research them first to find out as much as possible about them
- Make sure the application goes in on time. Recruiters can check to see what time an application was submitted so don’t leave it to the last minute as that does not reflect well.
- Be commercially aware – find out what is going on in the sector they work in.
The workshops included how to be Changemaker by discussing problems arising from the cuts to the Legal Aid Budgets and what action students can take to help people affected. Mark Bytheway, the University’s Graduate Recruitment Consultant, helped students to make better use of Linked In and to understand the importance of networking. Finally students could have their CVs checked by a member of UCEE.
The morning concluded with a networking lunch which was also attended by Sarah Hayle from The Community Law Service in Northampton. They are looking for volunteers to work one day a week for a year with their Benefits Team or for more general support with administration. For more information see: http://www.communitylawservice.org.uk/.
Student Feedback was very positive and they were pleased to have the opportunity to get so much support and advice with their careers. Particular thanks must go to Lisa Slaughter who organised the event with support from the wider Changemaker Hub team.