I was lucky enough to secure a week’s placement at the UK’s leading news source for junior lawyers and law students: Legal Cheek.
Law students typically seek work experience at law firms and barrister’s chambers. But what they really need is just one week at Legal Cheek’s HQ, to get a dose of commercial awareness, to hone their legal skills and acquire an insight into the legal sector.
There are many reasons to apply for legal journalism work experience at Legal Cheek.
Here are my top 5:
- Commercial Awareness
With commercial awareness being seen as a highly desired skill by employers, it makes sense for future lawyers to volunteer at Legal Cheek. After spending just one week at Legal Cheek HQ, I received a heavy dose of business experience and knowledge of the industry that I hope to enter into. This was through interviewing relevant person(s), researching news and writing stories on legal matters that were hot off the press. At the end of the week, I honestly felt that I could, with great certainty, predict which city law firms would be most affected by Brexit, an ongoing hot topic and something future employers will have at the forefront of their minds.
- To Gain Contacts
Whilst on my placement, I got to attend many law events, including the Hogan Lovell’s Press Party on my second day. I also had the opportunity to meet Joshua Rozenberg QC, partners and lawyers from other international law firms, many of whom I am staying in contact with. Attending the press party gave me a chance to network with legal professionals and gain some contacts. I must admit that a big perk of doing work experience with Legal Cheek is getting to attend prestigious press parties. Did I mention how amazing the seafood tasted?
- To Improve your writing skills
Blogging can give you skills that you can utilise in your career, a key one being the ability to write more succinctly. It is common knowledge that the more you write, the better your writing becomes. As law students, having strong writing skills is important, especially when writing that 15,000-word essay or finishing that never-ending law dissertation that makes you want to pull your hair out. Even when you become a lawyer, you will have to write statements, articles and advices; writing is inescapable. Writing for the Legal Cheek Journal, you will be capped at a certain word limit which will encourage you to be concise. You also get the chance to pick up on good writing techniques from Legal Cheek Reporters, who have previously written for prestigious papers like Legal Week and Times Online.
- Experience, Experience, Experience
Many law firms treat work experience as an integral part of their vacation scheme or training contract application process. Even if you don’t have any legal experience, or are struggling to find a placement, it is important to remember that all experience is relevant. It is all about how you present your experience. By way of example, blogging for Legal Cheek allows you to develop your writing skills and gives you an insight into the commercial awareness needed to be a good lawyer. You can even go one step further and talk about what you have learnt about Legal Cheek’s sponsors, some of which are magic circle giants, with big influence in the legal sphere.
- To Write for Legal Cheek
One of the good things about my placement was that I was able to continue writing for Legal Cheek even after my work experience was over. I become a guest contributor to Legal Cheek and was able to report to the Legal Cheek HQ about the news that would be of interest to their target audience; law students. Legal Cheek gives you the chance to show off your writing skills and have your work shared with their 250,000 unique monthly visitors (an impressive line to drop in vac scheme or training contract interviews). Blogging provides you with a strong online presence, which graduate recruiters are known to be impressed by.
Find out more about Christianah’s work placement on Legal Cheek. Christianah is now a guest contributor to Legal Cheek and writes regularly for the legal news site. A collection of her work can be found via her Legal Cheek profile page. She recently attended a Legal Cheek event; her review can be found on Lawbore.
For more on writing for Legal Cheek see their Legal Cheek Journal page.