School Leavers to Graduates - Opportunities available to you at Michelmores
It is often the case that prospective candidates looking to enter the legal sector are inundated with information around possible career opportunities. It is also important to know what exact options are available at the different stages to maximise your chances of succeeding in such a competitive sector.
Michelmores encourages and welcomes applicants who hold a wide range of experience and those who wish to pursue a non-traditional route. I have set out below the specific opportunities we have at the Firm as well as other considerations that a prospective candidate may want to explore.
If you would like to pursue an alternative route into a career in law, Michelmores offers an apprenticeship route – the School Leaver Solicitor Programme. This will allow you to become a fully qualified solicitor in 6.5 years and start a career in the legal industry straight from school.
You may also register your interest to apply to one of our two upcoming Insight Sessions on Thursday 19 January and Tuesday 24 January - sign up details can be found here. These will give you an opportunity to hear first-hand from those working at the Firm and get a better sense of our friendly and open culture.
Separately, you may seek out work experience in a range of areas (yes, that weekend part-time job does really matter!) which will enable you to develop several transferrable skills that not only will help you in your future working career but should also be showcased in applications. Michelmores also offers work experience for school students and leavers, more information will be found on our website later this month (January 2023).
First year university student
In addition to the above, you may want to start obtaining legal work experience at this stage. It can seem difficult to obtain legal experience this early on but Michelmores will be launching a work experience programme this month (January 2023). You might not be sure of which areas of law interest you yet and this is a great opportunity to get your foot in quite early on. Further details and dates for this programme will be added to our website shortly.
At this initial stage of your university life, there will also be various activities, clubs and sports that you can partake in alongside your degree. Future employers will see that you are a well-rounded applicant and have other interests outside of law.
Second / third year university student
Further to the opportunities mentioned above, prospective applicants at this stage may have the option to include a year-long industrial placement as part of their degree (usually taking place between the second and third / final year). This is also offered by the Firm and is another great chance to become fully embedded into a team to learn more about the different types of work.
For a more typical route into law, Michelmores continues to offer Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts. Further details can be found here and deadlines for applications are as follows:
- Spring Assessment Day – 31 January 2023
- Summer Assessment Day – 31 May 2023
- Summer Vacation Scheme – 31 January 2023
For Training Contracts, non-law degree applicants may apply in their final year and law degree applicants in their penultimate year. It should be noted that via this route, applicants are to complete the SQE before commencing a training contract with the Firm.
An alternative to the usual Training Contract set out above is to apply for our Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship. This essentially combines the Training Contract with the added benefit of studying (the SQE) whilst developing your career in one of our practice areas in Private Wealth, Litigation or Real Estate. Both non-law degree and law degree applicants may apply in their final year of study. This will give you the benefit of working, earning and learning at the same time. For more details and FAQs, please see here.
As set out above, graduates may also apply for a Vacation Scheme, Training Contract (note that you would start in two years' time) and the Graduate Solicitor Apprenticeship (to start in the same year).
In addition to the different entry routes into a legal career, you may also consider applying to one of the paralegal roles at Michelmores (as available). Paralegal experience is often invaluable in helping you to shape your decision around areas of interest and further developing your skills. Please have a read of the trainee blog written by Dan O'Sullivan here covering the benefits of acquiring paralegal experience prior to becoming a Trainee Solicitor.