6 ways to distract law firms from disappointing first-year results

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By Christianah Omobosola Babajide on

Keep calm and carry on, says first-year law student Christianah Babajide


Like thousands of first-year students all over the country, I too am wondering what sort of impact my exams results will have on my future career hunt.

I know everyone says first-year doesn’t count but, actually, it does.

Law firms — who are inundated with vac scheme applications — will scrutinise every exam result, and everyone knows that securing a vac scheme can make finding a training contract that bit easier.

So if things don’t go to plan (and lets all pray that they do!) here are six things you can do to get back on track.

1. Give back to the community


Pro bono — here I come.

I am going to drown myself in pro bono and get involved with as many law centres as I can, and so should you.

Law firms love students who give back to their local community so give them what they want. Pro bono is a win-win in my eyes: I get some hands-on experience plus it looks great on my CV.

While a summer spent watching Mean Girls and eating Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream seems more tempting, volunteering is the way to go.

2. Take up that job in Tesco


Take that job offer at Tesco.

Yes, you might think you’re too good for it, but there are many ways to manipulate customer service role experiences, and extract relevant skills that are applicable to the legal sector. Commercial awareness, communication and interpersonal skills are good examples. After all, you are the author of your CV — the power is in your hands. 

3. Find yourself in Thailand


Ever heard the quote: “To travel is to take a journey into yourself”?

That’s exactly what I am going to do after getting my exam results. I am going to really take the time to explore the world and find myself.

There’s no harm in travelling as far as I’m concerned. You never know, you might meet the CEO of a global firm and get given a job-offer while on holiday!

4. Do better next time


I know it’s a fairly obvious point, but if you end up getting a poor first-year result, be spurred on to perform better in the remaining years of your law degree.

Next year, when your friends invite you out to party, remember the heartbreak you felt on first-year results day. Drag your feet to the law library instead.

5. Learn a new skill


Word on the street is that bilingual students impress law firm graduate recruiters. The “Hey I may not have gotten a first class result in my first-year but at least I can speak French and Spanish fluently” is bound to be a good selling point.

6. Get feedback


Personal tutors are used to post-results day spam, some students even asking why their part a answer got a lower grade than their part b answer.

After releasing some of your frustration on them, get some feedback from your subject lecturers and find out where you might have gone wrong. This way, you won’t make the same rookie mistakes next year. And if they don’t reply, speak to some of your smart friends to get some exam tips and techniques.

No matter the outcome of your results — it is important to remember: it is not the end of the world; life goes on. 

Good luck!