Non-law Guide

Aspiring Solicitors:

First Year:

First year aims: Academics, University Societies.

What can you do to further your interest in a legal career?

1. Research the different areas of law and the legal profession:

●   For an explanation of different areas of the legal profession, read through the Prospects Student Guide.

●   For a broad grounding in the career routes for solicitors, see the Chambers Student Guide 'Where to Start’ and ‘How do you become a lawyer’.

2. Firm Open Days:

●   Use the First Year Opportunities directory at LawCareers.Net (Most of the opportunities posted there are available to either first or second year non-law students, but be sure to check on the firm’s website!)

●   Chambers Student Guide: Open Days (Coming Soon).

3. [First Year] Work Experience and ‘Insight’ schemes:

●   For a useful starting point head to the list provided here.

●   Check law firm websites.

●   Ask for work experience at any local law firms. 

4. Networking:

●   The best way to get your name and face out there is networking, both at networking events and via LinkedIn (look out for our Application Acceleration Programme for greater depth on this, as well as our networking events with firms).

●   Bright Network hold useful networking events.


Second Year

Second Year aims: Legal work experience, Academics

Now’s a good time to get some more focused work experience.

Bear in mind that the above advice is still very relevant, and keep at the networking! 

1. Vacation Schemes:

Second year non-law students can apply to a number of the larger Firms’ Vacation Schemes (Essentially internships). Check that the firm accepts second year non-law students, and remember that you will need to undertake the GDL and the LPC before starting your training contract (which will take two years if both are studied full-time).

The application process is time consuming and strenuous, so be sure to seek out help where you can. We will be hosting a number of events to help along the road.  You can find out about them here and on our Facebook Page.

York Careers will check through your application and CV

Thoroughly research the firm you are applying to.  Do this through their website, networking events, and other useful sites such as the Legal 500 and Chambers Student Guide.

Third Year

Third Year Aims: Apply for the GDL and firm Vacation Schemes

●   Apply for Summer or Winter Vacation schemes, as most firms will accept Non-Law students in their third year.

●   Choose a GDL or SQE Provider and apply (If you’re graduating in 2020 or later you’ll need to take the new SQE).

●   Compare the institutions available.

●   Apply for the course itself through LawCabs in October-February.


All Years

●   For useful firm profiles go on Chambers Student Guide.

●   Aspiring Solicitors support diversity in the legal profession, and offer a range of resources to underrepresented groups in the legal profession.  Do you know about our Aspiring Solicitors Sub-Society?

●   Get ‘commercially aware’. Use paid resources such as the Financial Times, the Economist, and free resources such as LawCareers.Net.

Take advantage of everything the law society has to offer:

●   Attend the dedicated Non-Law social events to get advice from other Non-Law students and graduates.

●   Contact us, or your dedicated Subject Representatives if you’re unsure as to how to proceed with anything.

Aspiring Barristers:

 First Year

●   Visit the courts in York.  This provides an accurate depiction of barrister’s work and will give you something to talk about in applications.

●   Research the profession and the different Chambers you could apply to. Chambers Student Guide is especially useful and contains information concerning the life of a barrister and the route to it.

●   Make sure to get involved with the Law Society’s Mooting events.

●   Grow your network and try to get some legal work experience/a mini-pupilage.


Second and Third Year

●   Use the Mini-Pupillage gateway to apply to Chambers for direct work experience. Most will expect Non-Law students to apply in their final year or during the GDL, but it is possible to apply earlier

●   For a breakdown as to what a mini-pupillages is and what to expect during your experience of one click here, and to see a breakdown of those available click here

●   Consider taking part in Marshalling (formal shadowing of a judge)

Awo Asare-Asiamah   Head of Non-law Activities

Awo Asare-Asiamah

Head of Non-law Activities

Jessica Bowen   Head of Non-law Activities

Jessica Bowen

Head of Non-law Activities