Advice

How law students can make the most of the lockdown

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From virtual vac schemes to volunteering — wannabe lawyers should use their time wisely, advises LPC student Charlotte Capper

The COVID-19 outbreak has had a devastating impact on the professional and personal lives of almost everyone around the globe, and students are one of the many groups of individuals affected by the pandemic.

With vacation schemes and other work experience programmes rescheduled, postponed, and in some cases, cancelled, it’s easy to understand the frustration and deflation that is being felt by law students everywhere. Times are hard and it can be difficult to remain positive but remember, we’re all in this together and things will improve with time.

Whether you’re working, studying, furloughed or simply relaxing at home, there are so many CV-enhancing things that you can be doing at the moment. Future interviewers will want to know what you did during the COVID-19 lockdown, and this provides the perfect opportunity to improve your applications and make yourself stand out.

Here are some ideas on how you can remain productive during the COVID-19 lockdown.

1. Focus on your studies

Like many Legal Practice Course (LPC) students, I study part-time whilst maintaining a full-time job and I often find myself wishing there were more days in the week for me to complete my university work. Whether you’re on furlough leave or using what would usually be your commuting time to study instead, the COVID-19 lockdown provides the perfect opportunity to dedicate more time to your studies.

2. Learn a language

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, one of the most sought-after skills for future lawyers is languages. Speaking multiple languages will score you extra application points and now is the perfect time to learn! There are many ways you can learn a language and there are lots of useful apps including Duolingo and Babbel that are free to use. Remember, you’re never going to get this time back so you may as well spend it productively — your future self will thank you!

3. Volunteer

In times like these we rely on volunteers more than ever. Volunteering is a great way to help your local community and support those in need, whilst simultaneously improving your applications. Volunteer work really does make you stand out and now is the perfect time to dedicate your spare time to helping those in need.

There are many ways you can help your local community cope with the impact of COVID-19. These include registering as an NHS volunteer, signing up as a responder on the ‘GoodSam Responder’ app, donating to your local foodbank or even just helping someone in your community by dropping essentials off for them. If you’re unsure of how you can help your local community, try looking for group forums or community Facebook pages as there is often good information available there.

The 2019 Legal Cheek LPC Most List

4. Temporary work

With the COVID-19 outbreak forcing many law firms to cancel their spring vacation schemes, many law students will be sat at home wondering how they can gain useful work experience. Law firms look for a variety of legal and non-legal experience, and you can pick up so many transferable skills from working in a range of sectors.

Supermarkets and pharmacies are actively looking for temporary workers and delivery drivers to help with the increased consumer demand, and this provides the perfect opportunity to keep busy and pick up some new skills that will make your future applications stand out.

5. Virtual internships

There are so many ways to gain legal work experience, and we are fortunate to be able to do this from the comfort of our own home. Many law firms are offering virtual internships via InsideSherpa, and now is the perfect time to complete these! Some of the firms offering virtual internships include Linklaters, Baker McKenzie and White & Case.

6. Tutor

With universities suspending teaching and providing content to students online, many law students will struggle to adjust and with exams so close this can be incredibly daunting. If you’re a law graduate or you have completed your LPC, why not use this time to help someone in need by offering virtual tuition sessions or making yourself available to offer advice to students who may be struggling.

However you decide to spend the COVID-19 lockdown remember, we’re all in this together and things will improve with time. Stay safe and use this time wisely!

Charlotte Capper is a first-class law graduate from City, University of London, and is currently undertaking her LLM LPC at The University of Law, London Bloomsbury.

11 Comments

The Truth

It’s a pandemic, not a productivity contest.
Take care of your mental health and those around you in need first.

(50)(13)

Student

I’m sure this article intends to spread positivity. Lots of students will feel lost and helpless at the moment and I think these are really good suggestions. Be kind!

(18)(16)

Not The Truth

if you want kindness in the comments, you’ve come to the wrong place.

The article is not bad. Though there are some better guides available (a charity ChatterPack published a great list of resources etc.)

(4)(2)

Another Law student

Many Law students in these unprecedented times are depressed and in confusion about their future, it is so important that we take care of our mental and physical health. I also understand that many students feel the need to be productive, but it should not be a competition. Everyone is dealing with this pandemic differently. Let’s all spread positivity and focus on the things that matter.

(18)(0)

Alan

It is quite easy to get set up with a high quality web camera these days and put yourself online. In exchange for tips you are able to flaunt your stuff. It is quite a good way to make a little extra income. You could potentially even find yourself a nice sugar daddy. You just need to be prepared to expose your (legal) cheeks.

(11)(13)

Hyacinth

These are budding young professionals, not cam whores. What a disgusting suggestion.

(6)(3)

Alan

Sod off you stupid old bore. This isn’t the 1950s.

(1)(0)

Olivia

That’s really hopeful and optimistic in such detrimental times.

(2)(1)

Anon

I wrote a negative comment this morning which was not posted. It was not offensive, but it was very critical of this article.

I can understand the why. But I disagree. Also, I do not think this article engenders positivity. It is vapid, and unoriginal. It personally fills me with despair. Apply for a internship with Baker McKenzie? As if that wasn’t a pipe dream before.

I honestly think we are all doomed.

(6)(1)

Free the Briefcase One

The language-learning suggestion is a very good and underrated one. I know plenty of solicitors who are not particularly good lawyers who have done very well simply because of their language abilities. The same is true for barristers.

However, the app-based platforms suggested are not the best way to do this although they can supplement classes. There are plenty of online classes and online tutors available. Some are free. If you want to do it, you need to do it properly and it is a long-term commitment.

(2)(0)

Fresh Grad without a TC

Literally feel so overwhelmed every time these kinds of articles are out. I tend to just skip it ASAP to escape back to my comfort zone.

(0)(0)

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