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Any Lawyers Or Solicitors - Need Help and Advice For Newly Graduated Niece

(7 Posts)
gscrym Sun 19-Jul-09 13:37:52

Just looking for some advice. My niece has just completed her diploma and is looking for a traineeship. She's been sending out loads of letters, applications, asking around but can't seem to get anywhere. She's really getting quite down because most of the letters she sends out don't even get a thanks but no thanks response. She's worried that she won't find anything and will need to re-do her diploma. A couple of her friends have either been offered and had them taken back because the firms can't afford to hire anyone and she knows someone who had theirs stopped halfway through due to budget cuts.

What's the best plan of action for her? She's willing to work anywhere and in any sector. I'd like to try to help her with any ideas I can get. She's worked so hard. Any help and advice would be greatly received.

racmac Sun 19-Jul-09 13:52:49

I sympathise completely - i found it really hard to get a training contract (took me nearly 4 years and i had worked full time since 17, studied part time and got legal and management experience!)- i had almost given up - eventually i got one.

MY advise would be to offer to do some unpaid work - get her face in the door and get known as a hard worker.

Dont write general CV's - make them specific to that firm - find out who to write to and find out about the firm before hand - decide what area you want to do and target specific firms -

consider experience outside that immeidate area - ie if she wants to do conveyancing - can she get any work experience with land registry, estate agent, mortgage advisor - firms will often allow work experience - thats probably the best way.

gscrym Sun 19-Jul-09 14:03:10

Thaqnk you, I'll pass that on. Did you have to re-do your diploma? Am wondering if that's a scottish thing. Her mum reckons if she has to, it'll be another £5000. I had said to her about offering to work for free. She got a really good mark for her law degree, worked part time in cash office whilst at Uni and loved every minute of doing law. She's really getting disheartened but it's only been 3 months since she finished her diploma. She's been applying since last year.

thirtysomething Sun 19-Jul-09 14:05:12

racmac's advice very good - another area where they're desperately short of bright law graduates doing voluntary work is in Refugee/Asylum seeker charities. They would bite her hand off if she could offer a few hours a week and she'd be likely to get to help with interesting cases, doing all the assessments and drafting letters, looking up previous cases etc to base the argument on etc. Fantastic experience for a CV and a growth area.

gscrym Sun 19-Jul-09 14:10:57

I've just texted her with your suggestions. I'd hate to think of her confidence being hit by not being able to get something. She's still got her part time job so should be able to do some voluntery work.

picklesmama Wed 22-Jul-09 21:02:11

The standard route for struggling would-be trainees is to apply for paralegal positions. You get some experience in a law firm environment, reasonable pay, some of the work is dull and routine but it is not totally unlike the worst of a trainee's workload. It shows commitment and pays ok. I am City-based and there are many agencies that take temps (Law degree/law school year a prerequisite), or she could apply to firms for permanent paralegal roles. Bigger firms have client paralegals (working on deals/cases etc) and also paralegals in professional support, which offers more legal experience, working with fee-earners' research queries etc. She should focus on the field she hopes to work in. Sometimes it is even a way to get a foot in the door, although that's harder in times like these.

smallwhitecat Wed 22-Jul-09 21:09:19

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