College of Law students can now get help to gain a foothold in the legal profession free of charge from qualified College careers consultants even after they finish their studies.
A new careers email advice service is open to all former students for two years after leaving the College when they register with its Alumni Association, which is also currently free to join.
It is designed to help former students still looking for a training contract, pupillage or paralegal work and needing assistance with CVs, covering letters and application forms.
The scheme is just one of a raft of developments to the College’s careers service, which also includes online information pages for university careers advisers as well as a new job vacancy database for current students and alumni.
Rachel Harris, the College’s Director of Careers, said: “Many students secure training contracts and other legal-related employment in the first year or two after completing their Legal Practice Course (LPC), and The College of Law is keen to continue to support students during that time. Our free email careers service advises on how to produce good industry-standard CVs and application forms, as well as offering guidance on interview preparation and technique."
During a six-month pilot of the e-advice scheme earlier this year around 350 alumni members used the service and in a survey 97% of respondents said that the advice they received was useful to their situation.
Ilana Hutton, who completed her LPC at the College’s Bloomsbury centre in 2008, approached the service for feedback on training contract applications. She subsequently secured a training contract with Duncan Lewis and Co Solicitors in Dalston, which started in July this year.
She said: “I found the careers consultant to be of great assistance. She went out of her way to assist me and provided me with prompt and helpful advice. I felt the staff genuinely cared about my career and did their best to assist me in reaching my goal."
Vasilis Psyrras (LPC, Moorgate 2007/2008) used the service to review his CV and applications for training contracts. He is now undertaking his training with leading Cyprus law firm, Andreas Neocleous & Co.
“I would encourage every alumni member to use this service, even those who feel confident that their CV is outstanding as there is always room for improvement," he said.
“This service is of great importance to overseas students, who may have the work experience but are not accustomed to the recruitment processes in the UK."
Former LPC student Asli Gozen (Bloomsbury 2006/2007) contacted the service for advice on research and interview techniques in preparation for an interview as Contract Coordinator EMEA with Nickelodeon Consumer Products. She got the job and is now thoroughly enjoying the role.
“My own research was limited so I sought advice on job roles and research techniques," she said. “The most crucial lesson I learnt was the technique of answering interview questions in three steps to appear logical, organised and intelligent. It was very, very useful."
Other developments introduced by The College of Law’s careers service include a new online vacancy database, which allows employers to post their own vacancies ranging from work experience to training contracts, pupillage and qualified positions. Current students and alumni can search for suitable positions, tailor their own email vacancy alerts, store CVs and covering letters on the system, and apply online.
The College is also sharing its know-how with colleagues in university careers departments by launching online information pages containing market news, information on local events and legal careers advice articles drawing on its experience of advising thousands of aspiring solicitors and barristers every year.
Current College students now also have access to a comprehensive online Virtual Careers Service, which operates in tandem with traditional face to face careers advice sessions. The Virtual Careers Service takes students step by step through the careers process, from initial decisions, research and applications to interviews and offers. It also contains information from leading legal recruiters and enables students to share knowledge and learn from other students’ experiences.
If you are a former College of Law student, you will be able to join the Alumni Association and take advantage of our careers help and other benefits.