Build industry skills
GRADUATE programs provide a great opportunity for recent university graduates to kickstart their working lives, and experience many of the facets of their chosen career.
Generally, year-long graduate roles involve working through a range of departments or work areas within a business, which provides an over-arching view of how the company operates on the whole.
Most programs recruit mid-year to start the following January, with certain restrictions around candidacy - some programs, for example, only accept applicants who completed their studies the year immediately preceding the program intake, while others are more flexible and allow applications from recent graduates.
Terri Macchion, a legal industry veteran and new owner of Ambrose Recruitment, said in her experience, law students had to be careful when applying for entry-level roles.
"Those who have missed out on the opportunity for a graduate position will often apply for any role, including an administrative or secretarial role, hoping to get a foot in the door," Ms Macchion said.
"Unfortunately, most firms will not consider them for these types of positions as it is obvious that a graduate would prefer employment as a lawyer and the firms believe, rightly or wrongly, that the candidate will not stay in the administrative position for very long.
"For this reason, it is important to start thinking about employment early on in your degree."
She said most law firms, large and small, could utilise a law student on a part-time basis to perform some research and administrative duties.
These part-time roles can fit around university demands and provide excellent first-hand experience in court filing, archiving, safe custody, file management, various legal software programs and how a law firm operates.
She said whether students stayed with one firm or not, the experience was invaluable when it came to moving into the workforce post-graduation, with experience and industry contacts for summer clerkships and graduate positions, especially for students who had maintained a good GPA.
It is advice that rings true across a range of industries - be prepared to take on relevant work wherever possible, even if it isn't the exact role you're aiming for. The important part is building networks, contacts and experience, all of which add greatly to your employability.
If you're able to secure a position on a graduate program, congratulations. If not, there are still numerous pathways leading to your perfect career.
For advice and services regarding legal professional recruitment, visit ambroserecruitment.com.au.