Leeds Law School

How can I stand out to an employer?

It can be daunting trying to gain employment, but there are great services available to you. If you’re struggling with your CV or cover letter, send a message to the Careers Team. They are a brilliant resource to help you get into employment.

Nykki smiling at the camera

Top Tips from Nykki-Marie Smith

Take the Career Development module in the first year seriously. All the materials are available once the module is over, so you can download them and when you begin applying for legal jobs, review them and complete the tasks. It helps highlight your strengths and weaknesses and gives great insight into the sort of questions employers are likely to ask.

Building a CV that you feel confident with takes time but gaining work experience and detailing your skills will have a positive impact on your future employment. Your student timetable may be organised to provide you a day or two a week for independent study. Use some of this time to apply for long-term volunteering schemes. This shows commitment and initiative to potential employers.

A few recommendations of great legal opportunities out there for students:

Citizen’s Advice: Advisor role
This requires some training but it’s worth it. You work face to face with clients who come into Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) with their concerns. There are centres in Leeds City Centre and Chapeltown. You can also check online at the CAB website.

Witness Services
Organised by CAB, they operate in the County Court and Magistrates Courts up and down the country. You would work with witnesses and help them feel comfortable in a court environment, as most people will not have attended court before. This gives you a chance to become confident and comfortable with a court yourself, as well as the different types of people you would meet as either a solicitor or barrister.

Appropriate Adult Scheme
The role of the appropriate adult is to safeguard the interests, rights, entitlements and welfare of children and vulnerable people who are suspected of a criminal offence, by ensuring that they are treated in a fair and just manner. This is brilliant if you are interested in criminal law; it takes a lot of training but is a highly rewarding job, and you soon get to know the police and legal system.

If there is a specific area of law that you’re interested in you could try writing articles for your local paper, a blog or getting in contact with organisations that deal with these areas.

If you’ve struggled to get any vacation schemes or mini pupillages in the past, why not try a few of the recommendations above?