Work Experience in England & Wales

Despite legal work experience being traditionally difficult to obtain - especially if you have no connections to the legal profession - a wealth of programmes exist to provide work experience for aspiring lawyers from less advantaged backgrounds. The majority of these programmes recognise that unpaid work placements are simply not possible for some students, and so come with a salary. However, for the sake of completeness, this page includes paid, unpaid and voluntary work experience opportunities. 

If you have not had any legal work experience or are struggling to succeed with your applications, do not underestimate the importance of non-legal work experience! It provides you with a wide variety of transferable skills and life experience which law firms value. 

 

Please note that many law firms - especially high street firms - accept speculative applications. If there is a firm you are particularly interested in, just e-mail or hand in your CV with a cover letter!

Click on the buttons below to find information relevant to you.

 

 Pre-undergraduate Law Students

PRIME

PRIME is a collection of leading law firms who have undertaken a commitment to promote social mobility in the legal profession by offering work experience to young people in Years 9 - 13. These placements generally last around one week and involve shadowing a lawyer, attending meetings and assisting with research tasks.

 

There are criteria which must be met, including:

  • Attending a state school 

  • First generation to attend University 

  • You have been or are: in receipt of free school meals or Education Maintenance Allowance; a full or part time carer; in the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker; attending a school with below average Higher attainment or with a low rate of progression to higher education 

 

More information: https://primecommitment.co.uk/for-students

Big City Bright Future

Run by IntoUniversity, Big City Bright Future is an annual three-week paid work experience programme created especially to help school leavers who aspire to work within the City.

 

Year 13 IntoUniversity students are encouraged to apply to the Insight Day to learn about the programme and interact with representatives from sixteen global organisations. Attendees then get the chance to submit their CV and interview for the three week work experience programme in July. 

 

To be eligible to apply, you must already be an IntoUniversity student. 

 

More information:

https://bcbf.intouniversity.org

Bright Sparks

Run by Stephenson Harwood, Bright Sparks provides an insightful opportunity to gain work experience and be mentored through the business of the legal world. It is suitable for those who want to pursue a career in law, but also provides valuable experience for those interested in human resources, IT, marketing and accounts.

 

Students will benefit from a variety of workshops, a CV clinic, a mock interview and a group project with other students on the programme. The firm will provide lunch and pay reasonable travel expenses. 

 

To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

  • Attend a state (non-fee paying) school;

  • Are school age students in year 12;

  • Are eligible to work in the UK; and

  • Are or have been eligible for free school meals (or where this information is difficult or sensitive to obtain, the participant attends a school that is significantly above the regional average in terms of number of students eligible for free school meals); or

  • Would be of the first generation in their immediate family to attend university

 

More information:

https://www.shlegal-futuretalent.com/opportunities/bright-sparks

Matrix Chambers

Matrix Chambers is a legal practice where diversity and accessibility are widely championed, and out-dated practice is challenged.

The duties students can expect to undertake during a work placement at Matrix include:

  • Completing basic legal exercises

  • Conducting legal research and writing legal reports

  • Learning about the roles of the staff team at Matrix

  • Helping to book travel arrangements

  • Taking barristers’ papers to court and observing them in action

  • Helping to set up events

  • Dealing with post

  • Other ad hoc administrative duties

 

The firm takes two work experience students who are undertaking GCSE’s and/or A-Levels or equivalent every other week, where one place is reserved for students who meet the following criteria:

  • Would be the first generation in their family to attend university or

  • Have been in receipt of Free School Meals whilst at secondary school or

  • Have parent(s)/guardian(s) who qualify for means-tested benefits or

  • Have been looked after or in care or

  • Are from a background underrepresented in law such as from an ethnic minority or have a disability/long term health condition

 

Work experience students can benefit from the Future Lawyers Scheme, which is designed to provide mentoring, support and training to young people who would like to pursue a career in the legal profession. 

 

More information: 

https://www.matrixlaw.co.uk/recruitment/work-experience/

 

Tomorrow's Talent

Taylor Wessing’s programme, Tomorrow’s Talent, is a two-week work shadowing scheme for students aged 16 – 19 from disadvantaged backgrounds. By taking part in the programme you’ll get to: 

  • Learn what law firms do and how they work

  • Meet some of our fascinating clients from a range of industries including finance, sport and music

  • Work-shadow our lawyers or our professionals within Marketing, HR, Finance and IT

  • Attend networking events

  • Take part in skills workshops aimed at boosting your employability

 

There are 12 places on offer each year in law and non-law roles. To apply, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be aged 16-19

  • Attend a non-fee paying school or college

  • Your parents didn't go to university or alternatively, you're entitled to free school meals/come from a low-income household or attend a school or college where there is low rate of progression to higher education

  • Have the right to live and work in the UK

  • Able to travel to central London daily (travel and lunch costs will be covered)

  • Interested in pursuing a career in law or in a business services role such as Marketing, HR, IT or Finance

  • Enthusiastic, punctual and able to understand how to behave in a professional environment

 

More information: 

https://www.taylorwessing.com/en/careers/united-kingdom/students-and-graduates/tomorrows-talent

Career Kick Start

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner offers a Career Kick Start work experience programme for Year 12 students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The programme comprises two weeks as follows:

Week One: A week at BCLP’s offices, gaining a real insight into what lawyers do on a daily basis via work shadowing, as well as information on the different routes in to the profession and a number of skills sessions.

Week Two: A week visiting a different organisation each day in a variety of sectors – including sports, financial services and media. During the week students will learn how law firms interact with their clients and the different roles for lawyers in these organisations. 

 

In order to apply for Career Kick-Start, you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must be in Year 12 

  • You are attending, and have attended from ages 11-16 a state funded school

  • You grew up in a household where no parent/guardian attended university

 

Students should also meet one or more of the following:

  • You are currently in receipt of, or previously received free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or 16 to 19 Bursary

  • You have been, or are currently in care

  • You arrived into the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker

  • You have been/is a full-time carer

  • You are attending a state school or college with below average A-Level or Highers point score and/or low rate of progression to higher education

 

More information: 

https://trainee.bclplaw.com/opportunities-london

Virtual Work Experience

The following law firms offer virtual work experience through InsideSherpa:

More information:

https://www.insidesherpa.com/

Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons offers a week of work experience to school pupils which not only provides an insight into life as a lawyer, but also enhances your CV. The week involves support from a supervisor, shadowing lawyers and attending presentations.

The firm cannot cover travel or accommodation costs.

 

More information: 

https://graduate.pinsentmasons.com/your-route-into-law/work-experience/united-kingdom/

Excellerator Programme

The Excellerator programme involves a week of work experience with Slaughter and May during the Easter holidays, followed by a week on the Social Mobility Business Partnership’s Insight Programme during the summer holidays. This involves visits to a range of different organisations such as Verizon Media, BT and Microsoft. Applications open in January and only UK state school students who reside in London or surrounding areas are eligible to apply.

 

More information: https://www.slaughterandmay.com/careers/trainee-solicitors/work-experience-opportunities/school-students/

Smart Start

Allen & Overy’s Smart Start programme provides young people from state schools access to a high-quality work experience programme in London. Through workshops and team challenges, students are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in the legal profession including analysis, commercial awareness and negotiation tactics. By attending Smart State, students can apply for additional work experience with some of A&O’s top clients and attend a summer school run by Sussex University. 

 

Following completion of the SmartStart programme, students are offered a business mentor throughout the academic year to help with taking the next steps in higher education. 

 

More information:

https://www.allenovery.com/it-it/global/about_us/corporate_responsibility/pro_bono_and_community/access_to_education_and_employment/work_experience/the_programme

Access Ashurst

The Access Ashurst programme is based in London and offers two weeks of work experience. During July, students will spend a week at the London Office gaining an insight into life at the firm, and in August, students will spend a day at five different organisations as part of the Social Mobility Business Partnership. Following these weeks, students will be matched with a volunteer mentor from Ashurst throughout Year 13. 

 

Eligibility criteria:

  • You want to study Law or gain employment in a law-related field after school.

  • You’ll need an average score of 5.5 over 5 GCSE subjects including English and Maths.

  • Be in Year 12 at school.

  • Be attending, and have attended from aged 11, a state funded, non-fee paying school/college.

  • You grew up in a household where no parent or guardian attended university. 

You must also meet one or more of the following: 

  • Be currently in receipt of, or have previously received, free school meals, Pupil Premium, Education Maintenance Allowance and/or 16 to 19 Bursary.

  • Be currently in or have previously been in local authority care (for a period of 3 months or longer). 

  • Be currently or have been, a full-time or part-time carer.
    Have come to the UK as a refugee or asylum seeker. 

  • Be attending a state school or college with:
    a) below average A-Level or Higher point score and/or b) low rate of progression to higher education. 

 

More information: https://www.ashurst.com/en/careers/students-and-graduates/uk/work-experience/what-you-need-to-know/

Experience Programme

Womble Bond Dickinson's Experience programme is suitable for students aged 16 or above who are studying towards their A-Levels and looking to secure their first work experience. It allows students to spend several days with a variety of teams across the business.

 

This programme is not open to those with previous legal experience, studying at university or have graduated.

 

More information: 

https://www.womblebonddickinson.com/uk/careers/early-careers

Big Voice London

Big Voice London hosts a number of different events and projects for students throughout the year. 

 

The only eligibility requirements are: students must be at least 16 years old at the time of the project; and that be studying A-Levels at a non-fee paying school. All projects are free of charge for all students. Unless specified, Big Voice London accept applications for all projects up to a week prior to the project commencing.

The following programmes are offered each year:

 

  • Mooting Competition - February to March

  • Introduction to the Legal System - May to June (NOW A PILOT ONLINE PROJECT)

  • Radcliffe Chambers Student Barrister Experience - July

  • Summer School, in association with Linklaters LLP - August

  • The country's only Model Law Commission - October to December 

  • Plus various other one-off programmes throughout the year

 

More information:

https://www.bigvoicelondon.co.uk/studentrecruitmentbigvoicelondon

Bar Placement Scheme

The Bar Placement Scheme allows students to spend three days shadowing their barrister in chambers and in court. On the final day of the scheme, students attend talks by barristers and/or judges, and receive advocacy training from the Inns of Court College of Advocacy. Prizes are awarded for the best student advocates by a senior member of the Bar.

 

To deliver the Bar Placement Scheme, the Bar Council works with Pathways to Law and the Social Mobility Foundation. State educated sixth form students can apply to the scheme independently. Places are awarded on the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the application

  2. Demonstrated commitment to and interest in a career as a barrister

  3. Fulfilment of social mobility criteria

 

More information:

https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/becoming-a-barrister/school-students/bar-placement-scheme.html

Blacks Solicitors

Blacks Solicitors currently offer week-long placements all year round to school students looking to gain work experience in an award-winning, commercial law firm.

Sitting alongside fee-earners at all levels, successful applicants will typically experience both contentious and non-contentious work; giving a flavour of the day-to-day workings of a professional law firm.

Placements provide valuable experience for those looking to pursue a career in law and impressive candidates can potentially secure further employment.

More information:

https://www.lawblacks.com/about-us/careers/work-experience/

Exchange Chambers

Exchange Chambers is an award-winning full service set of Barristers’ chambers in Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds. The Chambers offers a two-day work placement during the summer holidays to students who are in sixth form (year 12 or 13) or have completed GCSE’s.

 

More information:

https://www.exchangechambers.co.uk/tenancy-recruitment/work-experience/

 

Graham Turnbull Competition

This is an annual competition run by the Law Society of England & Wales, and is open to all prospective law students. The prize for winning the competition is £500. 

 

More information: 

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/en/topics/human-rights/graham-turnbull-essay-competition-and-lecture

 

 

 Undergraduate Students

Open Days

For current law students, many law firms run Insight Days, Networking Brunches and Open Days to provide you with a brief insight into the firm. These are run throughout the year, and generally require a small application form to be submitted. This is a great way to get noticed by a firm, experience their culture and decide if you would like to work with them in the future. 

These opportunities can be found on our Events Calendar, and are usually advertised on a law firm's social media channels.

First Year Insight Scheme

Run over two days, Baker McKenzie's Insight Scheme gives students a broad insight into how a big, global law firm operates and the sort of projects they work on. It involves a series of interactive workshops, networking opportunities, lawyer shadowing and one-to-one sessions with the Graduate Recruitment & Development team.

More information:

https://uk-graduates.bakermckenzie.com/programme/first-year-programme/

Legal Access Scheme

Addleshaw Goddard's award-winning Legal Access Scheme identifies bright BPP University Law School law students from unconventional or less privileged backgrounds, offering them a place on the summer placement programme. 

 

More information: https://www.addleshawgoddard.com/en/about-us/diversity/social-mobility/

Insight Scheme

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner offers an Insight Scheme to provide students with an insight into the firm, allowing students work experience and to see the firm's culture. 

During the Insight scheme, students will be assigned a trainee buddy for the duration of the week. Students will shadow the trainee in a department and be given typical 'trainee tasks' to experience what a trainee would do day-to-day. We also organise a series of talks and workshops, to give provide more information on what life is like in a major law firm.

More information: 

https://trainee.bclplaw.com/opportunities-london

Bright Futures

Clyde & Co's Bright Futures programme is a 9 month programme which offers first-year law students and penultimate-year non-law students the opportunity to gain an insight into life at an international law firm. It is aimed at candidates who are looking for their first taste of life in a large commercial law firm.

Students will receive one week of paid work experience (£350 plus accommodation or reasonable travel expenses), exclusive mentoring from lawyers and could be fast-tracked to a vacation scheme assessment centre. 

More information:

https://clydecograduates.com/en-gb/our-opportunities/bright-futures-programme

First Year Workshop

Each spring, Herbert Smith Freehills run two-day workshops at their London offices. These interactive sessions cover subjects like Corporate Negotiation, Alternative Dispute Resolution, insights into our pro bono work, and a careers fair. Students will also spend a day shadowing a trainee, followed by an evening social event.

 

Travel expenses and accommodation for students who live outside of London will be covered by the firm.

 

Applications are open to first-year students and second-year students on a four-year course. Applicants should show strong academic performance and initiative, getting involved in a variety of activities at university and beyond.

 

More information: https://careers.herbertsmithfreehills.com/uk/grads/opportunities/first-year

PASS

The Pegasus Access and Support Scheme (PASS) is a leading programme established by the Inner Temple and over 60 partner chambers. Designed to support aspiring barristers who have not yet started the BPTC, PASS secures a mini-pupillage in chambers for each participant. Participants also benefit from a focused professional and advocacy skills development programme.

 

Travel and accommodation costs will be covered by the Inner Temple.

 

Participants must have attended a UK state school and meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • Recipient of free school meals 

  • First in their family to attend university 

  • Have parents (s) who received income support or they themselves are in receipt of income or housing benefits

  • School area: Preference is given to those students who have attended schools with a low attainment and progression to higher education rate

 

Preference for PASS is given to applicants who have participated in the following programmes: 

  • Inner Temple schools project 

  • Pathway to Law 

  • Social Mobility Foundation programmes

  • Warwick Multicultural Scholars programme

  • Black Lawyers Directory Legal Launch Pad 

  • Urban Lawyers 

 

Applications from mature applicants and applicants with disabilities are encouraged.

 

More information:

https://www.innertemple.org.uk/becoming-a-barrister/how-to-get-involved/pass/

Fast Track Scheme

Weil, Gotshal & Manges Fast Track Scheme is a one-week placement where students share an office with an associate as they get involved in trainee-level work. Students who perform well on the scheme will be automatically fast tracked to a Training Contract Assessment Day.

Candidates must be in their first year of a law degree or second year of a non-law degree to apply for this scheme, have achieved AAB/340 UCAS points or equivalent across three A-levels, and be on track to achieve a 2:1 or 1st in any degree.

 

More information:

https://ukrecruiting.weil.com/fast-track-scheme

Gray's Inn Marshalling Scheme

The Gray's Inn Marshalling Scheme is open to members of the Inn and is suitable for students:

  • in their final year of undergraduate study

  • studying the GDL

  • studying a Bar Course

 

More information: https://www.graysinn.org.uk/education/students/career-services/court-pupillages-marshalling

Citizens' Advice

Volunteer Advisor

 

Citizens Advice often recruit volunteers to assist clients online, over the phone and face to face. As a volunteer, you will receive an introduction to the service and training for your role, as well as support, supervision and opportunities for development.

 

More information: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/support-us/volunteering/about-volunteering-with-citizens-advice/volunteer_roles/

 

Witness Service Volunteer 

 

The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free and independent support for both prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales. Volunteers must be friendly and empathetic with good listening and communication skills. You must be 18 years old, be able to commit for 12 months and be willing to undergo an enhanced DBS clearance.

The general duties of volunteers are as follows:

  • provide information about the court process

  • show witnesses the courtroom ahead of the trial

  • be there to talk to in confidence

  • accompany witnesses when they give their evidence

  • be there to give support on the day of the trial; at verdict and sentencing

  • help prepare witnesses who need extra support, this can be at their home or another safe place

  • help claim expenses

  • work with other agencies to make sure the right support is provided

  • refer witnesses to our partners, including local Citizens Advice after the trial for support with other issues

 

More information: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/support-us/volunteering/volunteering-for-citizens-advice-witness-service/

Times Law Award

The Times Law Award is an essay competition open to all students registered with a higher education institution. The essay question is published in October each year.

More information:

https://www.oeclaw.co.uk/times-law-awards

Law Reform Essay Competition

The Bar Council’s Law Reform Essay Competition is aimed at developing and fostering an interest in law reform. The competition invites entrants to submit a 3,000-word essay making the case for a reform to English, Welsh or European law. This annual competition is sponsored by the Bar Council Scholarships Trust and coordinated by the Bar Council.

 

The competition is open to anyone undertaking the academic or vocational stage of training for the Bar (including those studying for a law degree, GDL or the vocational component), those currently seeking or completing pupillage, and those in the process of transferring to the Bar.

 

The competition offers prizes in the following categories:

 

  • £4,000 for the winner

  • £2,500 for the runner up

  • £1,500 for the best CPE/GDL entry

  • £1,000 for the runner up CPE/GDL entry

  • 2 x £500 highly commended award

 

More information:

https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/becoming-a-barrister/students-and-graduates/law-reform-essay-competition.html

Future Legal Mind

This essay competition from the National Accident Helpline gives students the opportunity to win £2,000 and receive mentoring support.

 

More information:

https://www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/news/future-legal-mind

National Pro Bono Centre

The National Pro Bono Centre regularly posts volunteer opportunities.

 

More information: 

http://www.nationalprobonocentre.org.uk/pro-bono-week/volunteer-opportunities/

Victim Support

Victim Support are often seeking volunteers for administrative support in their offices and telephone advisors.

 

More information:

https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/find-volunteer-role

Vacation Schemes & Mini Pupillages

Aimed primarily at law students in their third year of study, vacation schemes are the main way law firms recruit future trainee solicitors. The scheme usually takes place in the summer and can have a duration of between two and eight weeks. Most placements are paid at a competitive rate, but check this before applying. 

Application deadlines are generally in December and January.

Campus Ambassadors

Various law firms seek Campus Ambassadors to strengthen their presence on university campuses and co-ordinate events. These positions are usually paid per semester or per academic year. Some of the law firms that offer these positions are: 

  • Ashurst

  • Bird & Bird

  • Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner

  • CMS

  • DWF 

  • Eversheds Sutherland 

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

  • Herbert Smith Freehills 

  • Hogan Lovells 

  • Linklaters 

  • Norton Rose Fulbright 

  • Shearman & Sterling

  • Sidley Austin 

  • Weil, Gotshal & Manges

 

For more information, please see individual firm websites.

SPARK

Clifford Chance’s SPARK programme is an award-winning opportunity for exceptional university students in their first year of a three-year course, or second year in a four-year course. 

 

During the five-day paid scheme, students will experience an intensive schedule of classroom-based activity, time spent shadowing lawyers in our practice areas, and a trip to one of our international offices. It also provides a variety of networking opportunities to meet representatives from all levels within the firm. Students will receive a £350 per week salary too.

 

After the scheme ends, the very best candidates are invited to apply for a place on a bespoke SPARK Training Contract assessment day. Those who are successful in securing a Training Contract will be matched with a trainee buddy who will help to maintain a relationship with Clifford Chance throughout the remainder of time at university.

 

More information: https://careers.cliffordchance.com/london/what-we-offer/spark.html

Midland Circuit Mini Pupillage

The Bar of England and Wales is divided into six regions, known as "Circuits". One of which is the Midland Circuit. The Midland Circuit recognises that financial pressures can restrict deserving candidates from undertaking mini-pupillages. As such, the Midland Circuit is offering 5 funded mini-pupillages for students in higher education. 

 

The programme will arrange for successful candidates to spend 3-5 days at a Chambers on Circuit. This will be matched as closely as possible to the location and desired practice areas of the individual candidate. Reasonable funding for travel and/or accommodation will be provided and should be detailed within the application form. 

 

Successful candidates will be determined on merit. Candidates should provide any relevant details regarding personal background; their connection to the Midlands; all dates of availability for the academic year 2020/2021 and reasons why they wish to undertake a mini-pupillage. This will be considered alongside the answers to the competency questions.

This programme is not restricted to those studying law or a qualifying conversion course but a strong link to the Midlands is required and must be evidenced within the application form. Applications are particularly welcomed from black and minority ethnic candidates as they are under represented at the Bar.

Application form:

https://www.midlandcircuit.co.uk/downloads

First Step

Norton Rose Fulbright’s First Step programme provides first year students with a week of work experience which includes social events and workshops. This is perfect for students who want to gain an insight into the world of commercial law and decide if it’s the right career for them. Successful applicants will receive a payment of £450 for the week. 

 

More information: https://www.nortonrosefulbrightgraduates.com/uk/opportunities/2018-first-step/

Insight Event

Hogan Lovells run two-day Insight Events over spring and summer designed for first year students of any discipline. Each day is packed with information about life at a global firm through tailored workshops and presentations that help students better understand the day-to-day role of a trainee solicitor. Students will also gain good advice on how to make vacation scheme and training contract applications stand out. 

 

More information: https://graduates.hoganlovells.com/page/insight-events/

Insight Scheme

The White & Case Insight Scheme runs for two days and is specifically designed for first-year students from any degree discipline. It introduces participants into the many areas of law, different types of firms and will dispel any myths associated with becoming a lawyer. 

 

Participants will receive useful guidance on ways in which they can begin to strengthen their future applications, and have the opportunity to meet different members of the White & Case team informally throughout various networking events. During the scheme, time is also spent work-shadowing with one of our trainees, providing insight into the day-to-day role of a trainee at White & Case. 

 

More information: https://www.whitecase.com/careers/sites/careers/files/attachments/2019-09/2019-london-recruiting-brochure.pdf

Insight Scheme

The Osborne Clarke two-day Insight Scheme for first-year law and second-year non-law students is designed to give students an insight into life as a lawyer at Osborne Clarke. As part of the placement, students will also be equipped with the tools needed to apply for a place on the vacation scheme.

The placement allows students to gain hands-on experience in a department, and to receive insight from Partners and the recruitment team, as well as the opportunity to informally network with trainees to find out more about their experiences.

The placement runs during the Easter break in London, Reading and Bristol.

 

More information: 

https://futuretrainees.osborneclarke.com/insight/insight-scheme/

Blacks Solicitors

Blacks Solicitors currently offer week-long placements all year round to undergraduate students looking to gain work experience in an award-winning, commercial law firm.

Sitting alongside fee-earners at all levels, successful applicants will typically experience both contentious and non-contentious work; giving a flavour of the day-to-day workings of a professional law firm.

Placements provide valuable experience for those looking to pursue a career in law and impressive candidates can potentially secure further employment.

More information:

https://www.lawblacks.com/about-us/careers/work-experience/

Graham Turnbull Competition

This is an annual competition run by the Law Society of England & Wales, and is open to all or current prospective law students. The prize for winning the competition is £500. 

 

More information: 

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/en/topics/human-rights/graham-turnbull-essay-competition-and-lecture

Free Representation Unit

The FRU are often seeking volunteers to represent clients in front of social security and employment tribunals. Volunteers normally take on a case a few weeks prior to the hearing and are responsible for preparing the case for trial, as well as the advocacy itself. However, volunteers will be supervised by legal officers who provide advice and support on the law and the tribunal process which must be followed.

 

Volunteers must: attend a training day; pass a test to assess competence; observe a tribunal; and attend an office induction. 

 

More information: https://www.thefru.org.uk/volunteers/the-route-to-ratification

Advocate

Advocate recruits law students as casework volunteers, who are the first point of contact for Advocate applicants. Volunteers also answer the phones, speak directly to the people using the Advocate service and prepare case summaries for reviewing barristers.

 

More information: 

https://weareadvocate.org.uk/office-volunteering.html

Prisoners' Advice Service

The PAS are always in need of keen volunteers who are interested in gaining experience in a prison law environment. Legal volunteer duties include: sending general information to clients and other prisoners as directed by the legal case workers; writing to clients; responding to general letters from prisoners; and basic admin work. 

 

This role is well suited to law students who want to gain more experience of legal work. Volunteers are expected to commit to one day per week for at least three months, and an expense allowance is provided. 

 

More information:

http://www.prisonersadvice.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/

Virtual Work Experience

The following law firms offer work experience through InsideSherpa:

More information:

https://www.insidesherpa.com/

Child Law Advice

The Child Law Advice helpline is a low cost service providing advice and guidance to families about child, education and family law. Full training on these aspects of law is provided to volunteers, however, they must have studied or be in the process of studying child, education or family law. 

 

More information: 

https://childlawadvice.org.uk/clas/volunteer/

 

 Postgraduate Law Students

Graham Turnbull Competition

This is an annual competition run by the Law Society of England & Wales, and is open to all or current prospective law students, trainee solicitors, pupils, solicitors and barrister within three years of admission/call in England and Wales at the closing date. The prize for winning the competition is £500.

 

More information:

https://www.lawsociety.org.uk/en/topics/human-rights/graham-turnbull-essay-competition-and-lecture

Virtual Work Experience

The following law firms offer virtual work experience through InsideSherpa:

More information:

https://www.insidesherpa.com/

Midland Circuit Mini Pupillage

The Bar of England and Wales is divided into six regions, known as "Circuits". One of which is the Midland Circuit. The Midland Circuit recognises that financial pressures can restrict deserving candidates from undertaking mini-pupillages. As such, the Midland Circuit is offering 5 funded mini-pupillages for students in higher education. 

 

The programme will arrange for successful candidates to spend 3-5 days at a Chambers on Circuit. This will be matched as closely as possible to the location and desired practice areas of the individual candidate. Reasonable funding for travel and/or accommodation will be provided and should be detailed within the application form. 

 

Successful candidates will be determined on merit. Candidates should provide any relevant details regarding personal background; their connection to the Midlands; all dates of availability for the academic year 2020/2021 and reasons why they wish to undertake a mini-pupillage. This will be considered alongside the answers to the competency questions.

This programme is not restricted to those studying law or a qualifying conversion course but a strong link to the Midlands is required and must be evidenced within the application form. Applications are particularly welcomed from black and minority ethnic candidates as they are under represented at the Bar.

Application form:

https://www.midlandcircuit.co.uk/downloads

Middle Temple Marshalling Scheme

The Middle Temple Marshalling Scheme gives a student the opportunity to marshal with a judge (sit with him or her on the bench in court), usually for between 3 and 5 days. As well as showing a different perspective on the courtroom itself, it can be an opportunity to speak to the judge informally, with the possibility of being invited back to the judge’s chamber, which could give further insight into the workings of a court.

 

Due to a limited number of judges, applications will only be considered from students who have started the BPTC or have already completed the course and are seeking pupillage.

 

Please note that finding a placement is not guaranteed and it is only possible to marshal once with a judge through Middle Temple.

More information:

https://www.middletemple.org.uk/education-training/student-information-services/marshalling

Free Representation Unit

The FRU are often seeking volunteers to represent clients in front of social security and employment tribunals. Volunteers normally take on a case a few weeks prior to the hearing and are responsible for preparing the case for trial, as well as the advocacy itself. However, volunteers will be supervised by legal officers who provide advice and support on the law and the tribunal process which must be followed.

 

Volunteers must: attend a training day; pass a test to assess competence; observe a tribunal; and attend an office induction. 

 

More information: https://www.thefru.org.uk/volunteers/the-route-to-ratification

Gray's Inn Marshalling Scheme

The Gray's Inn Marshalling Scheme is open to members of the Inn and is suitable for students:

  • in their final year of undergraduate study

  • studying the GDL

  • studying a Bar Course

 

More information: https://www.graysinn.org.uk/education/students/career-services/court-pupillages-marshalling

Advocate

Advocate recruits law students as casework volunteers, who are the first point of contact for Advocate applicants. Volunteers also answer the phones, speak directly to the people using the Advocate service and prepare case summaries for reviewing barristers.

 

More information: 

https://weareadvocate.org.uk/office-volunteering.html

Prisoners' Advice Service

The PAS are always in need of keen volunteers who are interested in gaining experience in a prison law environment. Legal volunteer duties include: sending general information to clients and other prisoners as directed by the legal case workers; writing to clients; responding to general letters from prisoners; and basic admin work. 

 

This role is well suited to law students who want to gain more experience of legal work. Volunteers are expected to commit to one day per week for at least three months, and an expense allowance is provided. 

 

More information:

http://www.prisonersadvice.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/

Law Reform Essay Competition

The Bar Council’s Law Reform Essay Competition is aimed at developing and fostering an interest in law reform. The competition invites entrants to submit a 3,000-word essay making the case for a reform to English, Welsh or European law. This annual competition is sponsored by the Bar Council Scholarships Trust and coordinated by the Bar Council.

 

The competition is open to anyone undertaking the academic or vocational stage of training for the Bar (including those studying for a law degree, GDL or the vocational component), those currently seeking or completing pupillage, and those in the process of transferring to the Bar.

 

The competition offers prizes in the following categories:

 

  • £4,000 for the winner

  • £2,500 for the runner up

  • £1,500 for the best CPE/GDL entry

  • £1,000 for the runner up CPE/GDL entry

  • 2 x £500 highly commended award

 

More information:

https://www.barcouncil.org.uk/becoming-a-barrister/students-and-graduates/law-reform-essay-competition.html

Lincoln's Inn Marshalling Scheme

Lincoln's Inn runs a Marshalling Scheme specifically for students studying the BPTC.

 

Marshalling involves a student accompanying a judge at a particular court over a one to three day period. It allows students to gain a real insight into the daily workings of the court, and how judges consider and manage cases. It also deepens understanding of the law. Students are able to see court proceedings from a whole new perspective, discuss the case with the judge, give opinions and, most importantly, learn from those at the court.

Applicants must be studying the BPTC, but placements are not guaranteed. Please note preference will be given to students who have not had any previous marshalling experience.

 

More information:

https://www.lincolnsinn.org.uk/student-members/marshalling-and-mentoring/

Citizens' Advice

Volunteer Advisor

 

Citizens Advice often recruit volunteers to assist clients online, over the phone and face to face. As a volunteer, you will receive an introduction to the service and training for your role, as well as support, supervision and opportunities for development.

 

More information: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/support-us/volunteering/about-volunteering-with-citizens-advice/volunteer_roles/

 

Witness Service Volunteer 

 

The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free and independent support for both prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales. Volunteers must be friendly and empathetic with good listening and communication skills. You must be 18 years old, be able to commit for 12 months and be willing to undergo an enhanced DBS clearance.

The general duties of volunteers are as follows:

  • provide information about the court process

  • show witnesses the courtroom ahead of the trial

  • be there to talk to in confidence

  • accompany witnesses when they give their evidence

  • be there to give support on the day of the trial; at verdict and sentencing

  • help prepare witnesses who need extra support, this can be at their home or another safe place

  • help claim expenses

  • work with other agencies to make sure the right support is provided

  • refer witnesses to our partners, including local Citizens Advice after the trial for support with other issues

 

More information: https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/support-us/volunteering/volunteering-for-citizens-advice-witness-service/

National Pro Bono Centre

The National Pro Bono Centre regularly posts volunteer opportunities.

 

More information: 

http://www.nationalprobonocentre.org.uk/pro-bono-week/volunteer-opportunities/

Child Law Advice

The Child Law Advice helpline is a low cost service providing advice and guidance to families about child, education and family law. Full training on these aspects of law is provided to volunteers, however, they must have studied or be in the process of studying child, education or family law. 

 

More information: 

https://childlawadvice.org.uk/clas/volunteer/

Victim Support

Victim Support are often seeking volunteers for administrative support in their offices and telephone advisors.

 

More information:

https://www.victimsupport.org.uk/get-involved/volunteer/find-volunteer-role

Future Legal Mind

This essay competition from the National Accident Helpline gives students the opportunity to win £2,000 and receive mentoring support.

 

More information:

https://www.national-accident-helpline.co.uk/news/future-legal-mind

Times Law Award

The Times Law Award is an essay competition open to all students registered with a higher education institution. The essay question is published in October each year.

More information:

https://www.oeclaw.co.uk/times-law-awards

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