Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Monday, December 11, 2006

Paralegal Rant

08.12.06 Paralegal Rant
Having run CV and careers workshops last week at a UK University, I have to take this opportunity to have a rant about entrants to the legal profession. Some law students (on the LPC especially) seem to think that legal work is going to come naturally to them, and they need to make no effort at all to find work.
I ran workshops to review CVs for students and then give guidance on how to improve the CV's and explain where the CV fitted into the scheme of things. Having reviewed all the CVs, I could easily see who was going to get a training contract and proceed, and who was going to struggle.
Starting the review, I looked through the CV as if I was a recruiter with 200 on the desk. I spent about 10 seconds going through. Usually this entailed a look at the name, the degree classification, and the work experience and background of the applicant.
What surprised the group I think was the fact that work experience was so important. There were candidates there with 2.2 degrees and 3rds who I looked twice at. What was fascinating was that the majority of candidates with lower academic qualifications had no legal experience. Some of the candidates with lower degrees had really gone about rectifying this aspect of their CV by obtaining lots of legal experience, and indeed a good number stood out above those with 2.1s and 1st class degrees.
Some of the students were quite surprised at the notion of work experience being important, and seemed to think the solution to progressing in their legal careers was simply to finish the LPC and then await an employer contacting them.
It certainly goes to show that those who want to make it in law will do so, whether by walking into a training contract post, or spending 4 years slowly inching towards it through other work experience. If I was spending over £10,000 on the LPC year, I would certainly make sure I knew what the end result was, ie what a solicitor did in practice, as afterall, it is not that interesting really! - Legal Recruitment Consultants on the Web

1 comment:

Reuben South said...

It is an interesting fact, but it makes sense that real experience is more valuable than experience in theory. I often see that graduates earn their degree, work in the field, then return for the next level of the degree after several years of practical experience. I did the same earning my paralegal degree. I was able to stay ahead of my classmates who had been going straight through school, but at the same time I did pick up a few bad habits on the job I had to relearn.