Non-law undergraduate – first year

Most universities will have an active student law society that you should consider joining. They’ll work very closely with City law firms, inviting them onto campus to hold presentations and run workshops, seminars and social events. Attending informal networking and vocational skills events will provide a fantastic opportunity to meet a range of firms and learn more about a career as a commercial lawyer.

You’re unlikely to have the same immediate exposure to legal careers events as a law student will, so you should be proactive in researching the opportunities available to you.

Many universities will hold an annual law fair which will be attended by a range of law firms. Make the most of the day by doing your research beforehand, preparing good questions and speaking to as many firms as possible.

You should also engage with your university careers service as they can provide you with a wealth of information and guidance. Find out which law firms are coming onto campus – many will run skills sessions related to a legal career, such as commercial awareness, advocacy, negotiation skills and application skills. These are a great way of learning essential skills and finding out more about the kind of work that a commercial lawyer does.

Increasingly, law firms are designing programmes specifically for first years. So make sure you apply for Open Days, Insight Schemes, workshops and any Vacation Schemes or first-year specific work experience schemes that are available.

Baker McKenzie offers a two-day First Year Insight Scheme that provides an invaluable insight into life as a commercial lawyer.