The importance of practical experience
Imagine trying to learn to swim within the confines of a classroom? It seems absurd, doesn't it? But that's the reality of studying a law degree without gaining any practical experience along the way. In fact, whatever work you are doing, the more practical experience you can get the better. We created LawLancer to help empower students to do just that.
So why is practical experience so important? Here are a few reasons.
First, gaining practical experience is simply the smart thing to do when you’re preparing for a career in a specific field. Maybe it's your dream to work as a criminal defence barrister because you are passionate about crime and justice and are intrigued by the court system. So you get a part-time job working as a research assistant at chambers… and you find out it’s very different from what you expected. In short, you realise this isn’t the job for you — and you can concentrate on finding another job where you can put your passion and skills to work.
Secondly, getting experience in a range of firms can be hugely useful in your ultimate decision making. Whether it is a small boutique practice, a large transactional team or something in between, your experience will be different in all of them. If you can work in a range of practice areas or at least for a range of clients this will give you exposure to what the actual day to day will be when you become a lawyer. Experience is the spice of life so get out there and look broadly.
Lastly, we think it's imperative to make the most of your time at law school by trying all the things on offer. And we’re not just talking recreationally! There are lots of opportunities to be a part of clubs and societies where you can grow connections and get experiences other students miss out on. Think about being a sponsorship manager for your law society as the chance to meet firms and engage with them directly.
Beyond this, there are practical experiences you can have like competing in the Moot, Client Interview or Witness Exam that help you develop practical skills and help your CV stand out. You can also head to events of external groups such as The Legal Forecast, or go to meet-ups on specific areas you are passionate about. Clearly, there are heaps of awesome ways to gain practical experience.
In our opinion, the more practical experience you can get the better. That is exactly why we created LawLancer! We aim to empower students to gain a range of practical experience on their own time. From property law and intellectual property law, to family law, we will provide students with a range of different research opportunities. Why be a clerk in one area of law when you can gain experience in all areas of law?
In fact, we are running a competition for students attending the Queensland Law Society Legal Careers Expo on 25 March 2019. So, come find us and you will have the chance to gain some practical experience!