Securing a Traineeship

Author: Sheila Mackintosh
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I started my traineeship with Mitchells Roberton in September of last year and I am so pleased to be here but that doesn’t stop me from identifying with the anxiety some students, in the middle of their Diploma just now, will be feeling if they have not already secured a training place. I bet the same opinions will be being bandied about regarding the best ways of getting a traineeship as when I was a student , some of which I must say are less than helpful and indeed I would go further and suggest they are a source of much apprehension and uncertainty  for many  would be solicitors.

There is a common belief that if you can obtain a summer placement in a law firm then you are sorted. However not every law student will secure such an experience and may feel that this is the end of their legal career before it even gets started. Not so. Many firms do not offer summer jobs and even if they do there may be no training places to offer to students at the end so do not be disheartened.

There also seems to be pressure on students to start to apply for traineeships two years in advance especially if they are looking for a traineeship in one of the large full service commercial firms.  This can sometimes be difficult as the final Honours year in a law degree can be very busy with exams and the writing of a dissertation and the added strain of job applications and interviews can heighten the stress.

And then here is the really tricky question. Do you invest in the Diploma without having a training place? If you are set on a career in law I would certainly do the Diploma. Most students start the Diploma without a traineeship lined up and the Diploma is far more practical so you may gain a better understanding of which area of law you prefer and what you are actually good at.

There will be knockbacks but you should persevere and you will surely succeed. Good luck!

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