scales of Justice

Five tips to stay on top of your legal career during COVID-19

Plenty of ideas for action in this post from Kay Barbour, Careers Consultant.

  1. Work on evidencing your skills

Whatever stage you are at you will need to work on evidencing your skills and experiences before you can start an application or pull together your CV. Create a spreadsheet or table of all the pieces of work and student experience – law and non-law – that you have and pull out everything you did, and which skills you demonstrated. For example, with restaurant or bar work, you can use examples such as interacting with customers to show that you know how to deal with clients, and operating the till as an example of your trustworthiness. If you are in a student society you can show how you worked with others to run an event or deliver an activity. If you’re a Lawpal you can think through how you supported fellow students. Check your experiences against these key skills that recruiters want to see evidence of and then you can work on the ones you feel are missing. Doing this work will make your application or CV preparation much easier when it comes to applying.

  1. Catch up with your research on developments

You’ll have heard about developments in English and Welsh legal training – see our previous blog on this and read more about the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam which all English/ Welsh solicitors will have to take from 2021 in order to qualify – despite Covid-19 currently there are no changes to timing of implementation. If you’re going down the barrister route, you will need to know how the process of becoming a barrister is changing. If you’re thinking of the Scottish jurisdiction then check out the Law Society of Scotland’s information and update on coronavirus implications. Check out the SRA update pages too and keep an eye on the Law Society Gazette for south of the border.

Elsewhere you might want to boost your commercial awareness by reading up on Commercial Questions, such as AI’s role in the future of inventions and when cyber-attacks become an act of war and the law firm of the future. Taking some time to really investigate and analyse these issues will benefit your knowledge of the business and legal world, and feed into future applications. Stay up-to-date by looking at BBC business news, Forbes business news and Bloomberg on a regular basis so you can discuss the implications of what you are learning and maybe even help keep you motivated.

  1. Develop a LinkedIn profile

This might be the perfect time to get around to ticking this off your ‘to do’ list. Take a look at our advice on setting up your LinkedIn Profile. Have you got a professional profile picture or image? Have you updated your grades and latest work experience? This will be a great place to view professionals’ profiles and see how coronavirus is affecting those working in the profession.

  1. Meet professionals – virtually

There are certainly going to be some changes to how students access and meet legal and other professionals over the coming months. Take a look at the alumni profiles of former University of Edinburgh students. Sign up to Platform One and connect with former students. Use Meet the Lawyer interviews to find out what it’s like to work at different law firms. Check out Chambers’ list of law firms and use Scottish Legal News for daily updates closer to home. The market looks tough – but firms are still recruiting so check out your favourite sites for legal opportunities, whether Chambers,, Legal Cheek or AllAboutLaw. Deadlines can change because of the pandemic so check on firms’ websites and social media channels too.

  1. Tired of reading? Check out these podcasts

Chambers has put together a fantastic list of legal podcasts covering Brexit (remember when that was THE topic) corporate, creative industries, litigation & crime, family & private client, property, employment, public law and technology from a legal angle. Law in Action, Best of Today and The Bottom Line are a few of my favourites too.

And if you get tired of just listening, have some down time watching legal films and series – what about A Very English Scandal, 2018 BBC drama starring Hugh Grant and Ben Wishaw about liberal leader Jeremy Thorpe’s relationship with Norman Scott. The final episode covers Thorpe’s infamous trial for conspiracy to murder, in which his lawyers managed to get him acquitted despite the evidence against him. Or try The Good Fight, a spin-off of The Good Wife covering the life and legal exploits of Diana Lockhart (played by Christine Baranski) and young lawyer Maia Rindell (Rose Leslie). For more of the same, check out this list of the best legal films of all time – you’re bound to find something to inspire there.

(Image CC0 by WilliamCho on Pixabay)

(Image CC0 by WilliamCho on Pixabay)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *