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5 tips on how to excel during a virtual vacation scheme

before next week legal cheek– Virtual Winter Vacation Program ULaw Vice President (Law), Peter Crisp shares tips with readers in hopes of excelling in the growing virtual recruitment process

Whether you have a winter vacation plan laid out or still looking for your dream internship contact, Peter Crisp, Vice-Chancellor (Law) at University of Law (ULaw), has tips for students navigating the process online.

1. Be yourself

The legal profession is looking for individuals from diverse backgrounds, Crisp tells me as we speak, which makes it so important for aspiring lawyers to be themselves. With up to half of all trained lawyers, particularly at larger firms, entering the profession without traditional legal degrees, Crisp encourages those who go through the degree scheme process to discover where they can add value and what sets them apart.

ULaw Vice President (Law) Peter Crisp

Having come into the profession himself from a non-legal background, studying philosophy at King’s College London, before training as a solicitor and practicing land law, Crisp explains that students must understand that they will contribute to a “larger unit” – they will form part of a trainee group or team training area. So, if you can combine being yourself and knowing what makes you stand out as a team player, you will go far.

2. Take advantage of early access to the platform

Crisp advises students to take an online test, video interview, or vacation scheme, to learn about the technological capabilities of the software they will be using. While students can use Zoom and Teams, for platforms you haven’t used before, make sure you know where the chat, video, and microphone functions are, and if possible, test them. In the event of a technology emergency, it’s always a good idea to be aware of any backup options, such as a dial-up alternative, he says.

Crisp also urges students to become familiar with the different ways available to communicate effectively on virtual platforms. For example, in Zoom, there is the possibility to raise a virtual hand before speaking and use emoticons to interact with the discussion. Take the lead from those running the interview or vacation scheme as to what internet etiquette to follow, Crisp suggests.

3. Get involved and ask questions

Showing your enthusiasm for working in the field of law can go a long way in persuading potential employers. Crisp explains that there are many opportunities for students to develop their resumes, from virtual work experience programs to free online opportunities. If you’ve shared your experience working through the pandemic, be sure to detail how this was different from other experiences you’ve had and what you learned from it.

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Navigating across online platforms can also be tricky, so if you find yourself confused with any part of the process, Crisp encourages students to seek help. It’s always better to ask and feel confident about how you’re approaching a task, rather than waiting for feedback after a piece of work has been handed in.

4. Keep honing your skills

Crisp advises students to identify the key skills a lawyer needs to succeed and to look to see how they can personally develop their expertise in these areas. For example, much of a lawyer’s role focuses on having strong written and oral advocacy skills, Crisp says, which are just as important in an online environment. If you’re struggling to find ways to improve your online communication skills, talk to your university, which may be able to point you in the direction of additional workshops or resources.

5. Think how far you’ve come

With virtual vacation plans “here to stay for a while,” according to Crisp, knowing your personal story over the past 20 months and being able to demonstrate your resilience and resilience is very important. Not many can claim to have climbed the job ladder amid a pandemic.

As everyone continues to grapple with the uncertainties of Covid, Crisp advises students to look around for guidance. He says there are many initiatives to support students at this time, for example, ULaw has loaned laptops to students, provided study spaces for those unable to work from home, and opened campus doors as quickly as possible and in line with Covid guidelines. All you have to do is reach out and inquire.

Peter Crisp will speak at The legal cheek The 2021 Winter Virtual Vacation Scheme, managed in partnership with the University of Law, will take place next week from Monday, December 13 to Friday, December 17. You can apply to attend the program, which is free, now.

Find out more about Study SQE at ULaw

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