Work Experience for Students – Volunteering / Pro Bono Work

All work experience is evidence of valuable transferable skills important to your career in law. You should include all your work experience on your CV and Applications for Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts.

However, it is important to still try to get some legal work experience. This is important as it helps you work out what kind of law you may wish to practice in the future or the type of firm you may wish to work at. Equally, it also helps you show the requisite skills and a commitment to law.

The best way to gain this experience is to do a work placement (formal or informal). Firms that don’t run formal schemes often take on students during the holidays or will usually be happy to take you on for a couple of days.

However, sometimes a more straightforward and often overlooked way of getting work experience is by undertaking some Pro Bono work. Pro Bono means “for the public good” and generally refers to work which lawyers do for clients for free, but there are also some great opportunities for students. Many law departments and law societies run their own Pro Bono initiatives or have a good working relationship with local initiatives – so this is a great place to start. Volunteering at a legal advice

Volunteering at a legal advice centre will improve your research, drafting, client handling, and communication skills.

Different organisations/opportunities have different levels of commitment – so make sure you know how much of your time to can spare before getting involved.

The key examples include:

However, charities often have Pro Bono opportunities and most universities and cities have a number of local organisations as well.