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March 31 2020

How law students and graduates can make the most of this time

Tips & Tricks

Jamie Roberts

Jamie Roberts

A pile of wooden clocks

Many of you reading this will have had your work, study, or travel plans cancelled recently. This means you’re probably finding yourself with an abundance of free time on your hands. This can be a tricky thing to come to grips with, so while it’s very important to stay active and look after yourself, do also remember that this is a great time to add some skills to your CV! We have come up with a few ideas below.

Volunteering

NHS Volunteer Responders has been set up to support the NHS and the Care Sector during the COVID-19 outbreak. This work is really crucial, and they need an 'army' of volunteers who can support vulnerable people in England who are at most risk from the virus. Consider signing up!

Gov.UK Local Volunteering is a great way to find volunteering opportunities in your local area. Just pop your postcode into the box on the site, and the site will redirect you to volunteering opportunities shared by your local council.

Covid-19 Social Study. University College London are running a research project about people’s psychological and social experiences during the pandemic. This involves taking two surveys, a week apart, to help UCL inform understanding about the effects of social isolation on people’s mental health.

Work Experience

The BBC has compiled a list of companies looking to hire temporary workers. This list includes some of the supermarket chains and companies such as Lloyds Pharmacy and Virgin Media. The page includes a link to each company’s recruitment page and will be updated with further opportunities.

InsideSherpa is a free online resource that allows you to experience working at some of the world’s top firms. These are a great way to gain extra insight into a law firm and understand how they operate. Firms that run a virtual internship include Linklaters, White & Case and Baker McKenzie.

Here at Flex Legal, we’re still reviewing applications and holding onboarding interviews via video call. If you have not signed up yet - why not?!

Online Courses

One of the best things about being locked down is that you have more time to access the wealth of free online courses that are out there! Many of them are entirely free to use, and all you need is an internet connection to access them! Here’s some of our prefered ones:

The Corporate Law Academy is a great forum for all aspiring lawyers. The forum contains a multitude of helpful tips and advice to those seeking training contracts. They have just released a free course featuring two future trainee solicitors at Baker McKenzie.

FutureLearn is a fantastic online platform with a huge range of free courses, whether you want to develop yourself professionally or learn a new hobby - there is something for you!

Duolingo is a great app with a simple way to improve your language skills!

Law firm applications

Of course this is also a great time to get cracking on with some research for law firm applications that are still open. Here are some handy articles on how Coronavirus is affecting the legal profession that might be of some use:

The Lawyer - A broken cycle: How coronavirus is affecting the qualification of lawyers

LexisNexis Blog: Coronavirus – What’s the impact on the legal profession?

Big Four Legal Leader: COVID-19 Will Change the Way Law is Practiced

Podcasts

We all love a good podcast here at Flex Legal, and fortunately there’s no shortage of good ones available at the moment! Here’s a few of our team’s favourite podcasts:

Wake Up to Money is a daily podcast discussing the news and views on business around the world. It is a great resource to keep on top of the daily developments of coronavirus and how this affects business. Grab a coffee and listen to experts deliver their thoughts!

Beyond Today takes one big question about one big story from the news - or something completely random. Recent episodes include ‘Will coronavirus take away or jobs?’ and ‘Upskirting: How one woman fought back and changed the law’.

Reply All is a personal favourite of mine and is about all things related to the internet. People come to them with their random tech issues and the hosts investigate. Great episodes to start with include ‘The Snapchat Thief’, ‘The Case of the Missing Hit’ and ‘Long Distance’.

The Commercial Awareness Podcast is a must for all aspiring lawyers. A weekly podcast highlighting, as you may have guessed, a commercial awareness news roundup. Very useful tool to get on top of recent developments ahead of interviews and application season!

More Perfect puts a spin on case law and encourages the listener to think of the wider impact of judicial decisions by dissecting significant rulings of the US Supreme Court. You will be instantly hooked!

Read!

Any list like this was always going to feature some recommended reading! Getting your nose into a good book is always a relaxing and intellectually stimulating way to spend some time. Here’s some books we’d strongly recommend:

This Is Going To Hurt by Adam Kay is a hilariously funny account of a junior doctor's time working in the NHS.

My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite is an interesting and complex story set in Lagos about the relationship between two sisters within the context of a love triangle - an enjoyable read!

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris is an amazing true story set in Auschwitz, one of the most notorious concentration camps of WW2.

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is a really relatable, hilarious and down to earth - a great coming of age biography.

Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking finds the late and great scientist giving fascinating, digestible answers to life’s most important questions.

21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari is an absolute must-read for everyone - the issues discussed in the book (from AI to liberalism) affect each of us on a daily basis. If this has you frowning, fret not! The book is far from being as hefty as your Equity and Trusts textbook so should make for fairly easy reading.

Honourable Mentions:

  • The Rule of Law by Tom Bingham
  • The Secret Barrister - Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken
  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama
  • If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin
  • The Room by Emma Donoghue
  • The Incarnations by Susan Barker
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Good Omens by Terry Prachett and Neil Gaiman
  • In Your Defence by Sarah Langford
  • She Said by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey
  • 1984 by George Orwell

Virtual Networking

In case you weren’t aware, each month Flex Legal puts on a ‘Virtual Lunch’ in collaboration with LexisNexis and Crafty Counsel. The events are totally free to attend and cover all kinds of topics relevant to junior lawyers, trainees and paralegals. They’re a great way to network with your peers and expand your horizons over the course of a single lunch!

Sign up to upcoming events on eventbrite, or read summaries of previous posts here on our blog.

We hope some of these ideas will help keep you busy! If you think we’ve missed anything crucial here, please do get in touch and let us know! We will keep the blog updated with any suggestions you might have. We hope you all stay safe and healthy during these peculiar times!

-Jamie