Career timeline for law students. Find out more.
Each year the Careers and Employment Service holds an annual Law Careers Fair, attended by many leading law firms who specifically target the University’s graduates. Find out more.
Building brilliant careers
At the University of Exeter, we aim to offer as many activities as possible to help broaden your career development and equip you with the skills employers find most valuable. These include employer visits, mooting, pro bono and skills sessions, which provide many opportunities to meet and interact with potential employers.
We benefit from a network of professional contacts locally, nationally and internationally who attend our annual Law Careers Fair. Our extensive alumni network is keen to offer mock interviews, mentoring and work placements to Exeter law students.
A Law degree from the University of Exeter will provide you with a wide range of skills suitable not only for a career as a solicitor or barrister, but also in the wider world of business including finance, administration and commerce. Skills such as assimilation of large amounts of material, commercial awareness, writing concise reports and problem solving, which you will develop during your degree, are vital to a range of graduate recruiters including those in government and general management.
LLB Law in Practice – in collaboration with Reed Smith* (Streatham)
Our innovative LLB offers students a unique opportunity to spend a year gaining practical legal experience with top global law firm Reed Smith LLP. You will develop skills relevant to a future career in law, especially in the field of legal innovation. The programme is a four-year qualifying law degree, with the third year spent on placement at Reed Smith. It will include a a series of four business skills masterclasses for LLB students, focusing on practical, workplace skills. In Year 2 students on the LLB Law in Practice will also be required to take a mandatory Legal Professionalism module which gives general preparation for a year in industry. Students will spend their third year on placement at Reed Smith, experiencing two different practice areas, as well as gaining experience in business support functions, such as marketing and business development. There is an additional focus on the future of law. Each student will be assigned a supervisor and an informal trainee ‘buddy’ while they are at the firm. Training opportunities will be available throughout the placement, as well as formal and informal appraisals and feedback on performance.
LLB with Professional Legal Placement* (Streatham)
LLB Law with Business with Professional Placement (Cornwall)
BBL Bachelor of Business and Laws with Professional Placement (Cornwall)
Spending up to a year carrying out a professional placement with a law firm or an in-house legal team as part of your degree programme is an invaluable opportunity. You will develop and deepen your understanding of business and legal practices. The programme is designed to provide a first-hand understanding of a professional working environment through the enhancement of key transferable skills such as working with others, problem solving and communication. This unlocks a world of experience that allows you to develop essential employability and interpersonal skills that relate to your degree and future career. You will take full responsibility for finding and organising your placement (either in the UK or abroad), with preparation, support and approval from the University. This is a great way to demonstrate to employers your adaptability, commercial awareness, independence and resourcefulness.
LLB with Industrial Placement* (Streatham)
LLB Law with Business with Industrial Placement (Cornwall)
BBL Bachelor of Business with Laws with Industrial Placement (Cornwall)
Spending up to a year carrying out a graduate-level work placement as part of your degree programme is an invaluable opportunity. It unlocks a world of experience that allows you to develop essential employability and transferrable skills for your future career. You will take full responsibility for finding and organising your placement in a business setting of your choosing (either in the UK or abroad), with preparation, support and approval from the University. This is a great way to demonstrate to employers your adaptability, commercial awareness, independence and resourcefulness.
If you opt for our placement programmes you’ll get the opportunity to put into practice some of the things you’ve learnt in your first two years. This means that you’ll come back to us for your fourth and final year well-equipped with practical experience in your chosen area of study. What’s more, your placement will give you a proven employment track record and extra confidence when you set out to find your first graduate job.
The placement year is credit-bearing and contributes towards the final degree classification. Information about assessments can be found on the module descriptor.
Whilst undertaking a placement year as part of your degree, you are still classed as a student and are therefore required to pay a reduced student fee. Fees are currently (as of September 2017) 20 per cent of the full fee for UK and International placements and 15 per cent of the full fee for Erasmus Placements.
For first and second year students interested in transferring onto the placement programme, please contact the SSIS careers team at email@example.com.
*Not available via UCAS. Students apply in Year 1.
Your future employment is at the heart of the law degrees on the Cornwall campus. The combination of law and business will increase your core understanding of commercial awareness, key business skills and legal knowledge which will prepare you for careers or further study across corporate sectors. Both the LLB Law with Business and BBL Bachelor in Business and Laws can be taken with a placement year option in either business or law.
All law degree programmes in Cornwall are underpinned in your first year of study by the Legal Foundations course. You will develop your core practical legal skills throughout this course. You will apply your learning in years two and three with activities such as the law clinic and our placement year in law or business. We work closely with our Industry Advisory Group to ensure the skills we train you in reflect current trends and standards.
A dedicated team of employability consultants will support your career decision making, planning and applications by providing careers advice and guidance, career planning and skills workshops.
Types of activities include:
- Visits to Truro combined court and the opportunity to work on the legal helpdesk.
- Visit to local and national law firms.
- Workshop on preparing for the Law fair and bus to the Streatham campus Law Fair.
- Workshops on how to become a barrister or solicitor, applying for vacation schemes and training contracts.
- One to one support with applications (specialist appointments with our Law Careers Adviser are available to students in Year 2 and final year).
- Alternative Careers for Law students’ workshops.
- Speed networking, panel discussions and presentations with alumni and employers.
To help you navigate through the range of careers in the legal market, we arrange a series of employer visits and presentations. The visits allow you the opportunity to hear about different career paths which can help you with your own career decision making process. From commercial city solicitor to human rights charity officer, the speakers range in seniority and experience to give you the broadest view possible of where your law degree will take you and what you need to do to get there. As well as employer visits and the Law Fair, we offer opportunities to network, attend panel discussions with alumni, law specialism talks and practical “how to” workshops.
Here are a few examples of past events:
- Event encourages female lawyers of the future
- An insight in to Law Careers in Government
- Barrister's evening" with Lincoln's Inn
- Specialisms in Law - a discussion panel that explored the decision-making processes that are essential in building a career in the legal profession
- Law Alumni Panel: Careers Advice and Insight in to the legal profession
The Education and Student Experience team also offer a range of employer skills sessions and recruitment events.
Our excellent links with alumni mean that we can offer second year students, who are interested in working in top City law firms, the opportunity to have a practice interview with a City law firm partner. Students are asked to submit their CVs in advance of the interview so that the interviewer can ask the relevant questions in true interview style. Feedback is given directly after the interview to the student on both the CV and interview techniques.
The alumni we invite back to Exeter to conduct mock interviews are all experienced interviewers. They find it a very rewarding experience to spend time with current undergraduates, to help them prepare for what can be quite a daunting experience.
Our emphasis on helping you to develop your employability skills starts right at the beginning of your law degree. The half-day law eXfactor programme introduces you to some of the theories of self-analysis and career planning in order for you to be fully equipped to work on your skills development alongside your academic learning.
With clearly defined activities to enhance your skills and attributes interwoven in much of the law group work, further workshops organised by the Employability Team provide extra practical support for application writing, interviews, assessment centres, commercial awareness and problem solving skills.
Examples of workshops:
Sponsored by Michelmores
We enjoy extremely good relations with members of the legal profession both regionally, nationally and internationally. Each year the Careers and Employment Service holds an annual Law Careers Fair, attended by many leading law firms who specifically target the University’s graduates.
The fair also provides an opportunity for you to find out more about further graduate study in Law, which in the competitive legal world can give you a chance to expand and deepen your legal knowledge and stand out from the crowd.
Law Fairs are the perfect opportunity to meet and network with prospective employers, ask questions and make an impression. We help students prepare for the fair by hosting a “How to make the most of the Exeter Law Careers fair” workshop.
The Law School is committed to delivering high-quality, tailored careers advice and guidance to help law students make the most of translating the transferrable skills they acquire from the pro bono, extra-curricular and employability opportunities they are involved with. Our dedicated law careers consultant offers individual appointments to penultimate and final year students to give guidance on application forms, preparing for assessment centres and interviews and to give general careers advice to help with career decision making. First year students benefit from group workshops with the Law Careers Consultant where they learn about law application timelines, how to make the most of visits to or by firms and find out about the variety of things law students can do with their degree.
Having a mock interview provides you with invaluable advice and experience before the real scenario. At first, the thought of sitting in front of a partner of a global law firm would be really daunting and stressful. However when it came to the mock interview, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and found that it was a great platform to show your past experiences and motivation to a legal career, or in fact, any other career. My advice to all students looking for graduate roles such as law, it is important to gain as much exposure as you can, especially in a competitive environment. Such experience would definitely make you stand out from the crowd; this shows your commitment towards your career pathway and above all, shows employers that you are fully informed about your career choice. This experience had definitely placed me in a much better position in terms of my future career prospects.
LLB student pictured with Jonathan Hammond, Partner, Simmons and Simmons
I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to gain first-hand experience alongside not only world-class legal professionals but commercial and technical professionals too… To be even a small part of this enormous project is fantastic, and will set you apart from other candidates when applying for vacation schemes and training contracts.
Placement: EDF NNB Legal
Tom, LLB with Professional Legal Placement (2020)