Law graduate perspective: Poppy Watson

Recent graduate of Law with German Law, Poppy Watson certainly made the most of her time at university. We spoke to her during her final year to find out more.

Poppy Watson“Prior to university, I went to a state school and attained three ‘A’ grades at A Level. I then chose to study Law with German Law at the University of Birmingham and have not looked back since! 

"Within the first few weeks at University I was appointed as a Law School Ambassador and have also subsequently undertaken: six mini-pupillages; marshalled at three different courts; won two debating competitions; co-written an article with a leading barrister; worked as a campus ambassador for an international commercial law firm; accepted a scholarship to study at a German summer school; gained work experience at both national and local law firms; undertaken a year abroad at the Free University in Berlin; taken part in an international mooting competition; interned at the federal authority in Austria, and worked at a national supermarket chain during my university holidays. It has most definitely been a busy few years!

“Clubs and societies have been a core part of my life at Birmingham. I have sung with the University Women’s Choir, played with the University Symphony Orchestra, and sung with ‘The Uptone Girls’ on national television as well as at the Edinburgh Fringe. I was a member of the Baking Society and became Chair of the Student Exchange Society. I was also the Employment Representative for the Aspiring Solicitors Society. Whilst in Berlin I played with the Collegium Musicum orchestra at the Berlin Philharmonic Hall as well as at the European Student Orchestra Festival in Strasbourg. I have even taken up handball!

“The experience I most enjoyed whilst in Berlin was my time in the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot team. Both my written and oral advocacy skills as well as my aptitude in German significantly improved due to the vast amount of work and time spent with my team and coaches. Through this experience I met fellow law students as well as leaders in the legal industry and competed all over the world including in Hong Kong, Vienna, Tbilisi, and Cologne. 

“My plan is to pursue a career as a barrister. This will involve applying for scholarships from my Inn of Court, applying to do the BPTC, and seeking pupillage. I am also hoping to undertake some pro bono work alongside the BPTC. For example, I am very keen to work for FRU (the Free Representation Unit) to get some more real-life experience and further improve my advocacy skills.

“The advice I would give to anyone considering undergraduate study in law is to talk to any lawyers or law students you know, get their opinion and hear about their experiences. Try and get work experience at a local solicitors or barristers’ chambers. There is also a plethora of opportunities available to 16 – 18 year olds. Visit the Bar Council’s website, attend their events and take part in the Bar Mock Trials Competitions. You can even go to court and sit in to hear proceedings. The most important thing is to take any opportunity you can. You don’t need connections, you can make your own!”