Student review: Introduction to Law for Non-Law Students Event

Organised by the Politics Society and the Radcliffe Club, the Introduction to Law for Non-Law Students Event (12 November 2012) was an ideal opportunity for those considering a conversion into law after the completion of their current degrees - to get a taste of the law profession. Featuring talks from an array of speakers including past students of the conversion program to current lecturers and professionals in the field, the event provided insight into the challenges and rewards that pursing a law career path can bring. Well attended by an audience of around sixty people, the event was well organised and very informative.

Review - Introduction to Law for Non-Law Students Event. Photograph by Safiyya Saeed Student Enhancement Committee Member POLSIS

The evening started off with the university’s very own Chris Packham who is a careers consultant with the Careers Network. He gave an overview of how to get into law both as a solicitor and as a barrister. He then discussed future changes to the course becoming more modular and on the job training. He advised the students to create a plan of their overall ambition, a strategy of how to achieve that and the importance of getting as much experience as possible. The next speaker was Sarah Ramsey from the Birmingham College of Law who gave more of an insight in to the GDL. She was followed by Adam Doyle from the BPP Law School who advertised that their GDL is enhanced with a virtual learning experience and that they can also provide loans for students. We then heard from Pritti Kaur, a GDL student, who explained what life is like on the GDL, academically and socially and highlighted the intensive workload as well as the rewards.

The solicitor from Pinsent Masons in particular focused on commercial law and the work that is involved in that particular area. He was very engaging and built a good rapport with the audience. Alongside discussing commercial law, he also highlighted the long term commitment necessary to succeed in such a demanding and competitive field. This was followed by two speeches from representatives from Eversheds, one of the world’s largest corporate firms. Their speeches were less formal and centred more on explaining their life experiences prior to working for the firm. In particular they stressed that a career in law was very much doable with the right attitude.

This was followed by a speech by the barrister from the Number Five Chambers, which was generally well tailored for anyone considering a pupillage in the future. Whilst demonstrating that life as a barrister is not as glamorous in reality as it may be shown to be on television, the talk did indicate the importance of life experiences as well as academic.

After all the speakers, the students were presented with the chance to talk informally about their ambitions through ‘speed networking’ with the lawyers. This was helpful for the students to pose questions directly to lawyers and form those vital connections. The speed networking essentially ended the informative event with the opportunity for further engagement for those who wanted more one to one interaction.

Overall, this event worked well to guide those seeking a career in law or for those still making up their minds about what they want to do post-graduation!

Written by Asli Abdi and Emma Layzell (Student Enhancement Committee Members, POLSIS)