My Advice for First Year Law Students

My Advice for First Year Law Students


Written by Christopher Neale

Over the course of three years at Nottingham Law School (NLS), I have participated in numerous activities and events. Below is a summary of my advice for a first-year law student from the experience I’ve had.

Firstly, lets quash the myth that first year doesn’t count. In short, it does to a certain extent. In terms of the law degree, the module scores won’t contribute to the overall percentage achieved on graduation. However, one of the most natural courses that law students take from studying a law degree, is a career in law. Near enough all law firms and chambers look for legal or non-legal work experience on a student’s CV, but also ask for a breakdown of each mark achieved in each module studied. The majority require a consistent 2:1, and speaking from experience, a consistent 2:1 across all three years of undergraduate study is required. Not only does this demonstrate that you are a high performing academic student, but also that you are dedicated to your study of the law. Achieving this really puts you in a position to progress in your second year when applying for vacation schemes or mini pupillages.

Employability Centre

The Employability Centre in Newton is a great place to visit in your first year. Even though your degree is very new to you, the opportunities provided to students by the school are extensive. Whether that’s part-time work to supplement studies or work experience to begin appreciating areas of the law you might enjoy, it’s worth going. The Employability team also provides advice via appointments on CV’s and covering letters for potential applications that you could make. If browsing through opportunities online is more preferable, then FutureHub is a resource that collates all the opportunities (law or non-law) together, for you to attend around your studies. Regularly checking FutureHub and being proactive is key as new opportunities are added all the time. It’s worth pointing out, events do become popular on Futurehub, so booking as soon as possible is crucial.

NLS Law Fair

Each year Nottingham Law School hosts an annual law fair at the end of January. The law fair brings law firms, chambers, in house lawyers and other individuals together allowing students from NTU to engage with them about current opportunities they have. This year, the event is on Wednesday 24 January at 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm in Newton. Help and advice on preparing for the fair is available either on NOW or on FutureHub and can be useful if you have not previously attended one.

Reflecting on my experience, I found the Law Fair a good way to engage professionally with legal individuals about my future career. It also provides you with a brilliant starting point of beginning to establish or expand your network. Using LinkedIn, make sure that you always follow up with the individuals you talked to, creating that lasting positive impression.


Christopher Neale

Final year LLB Business Law student

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