Schmoosing my way to success…
The idea of work experience was first introduced to me during secondary school where I had fortunately also decided that the legal route was the route for me. And so the beginnings of my work experience began when I kept in contact with my interviewer from ‘Business Back to School Day’ and visited the solicitors firm that she worked at. Ever since that moment, I have taken every opportunity that I have to at least get someone’s business card to ask for work experience at a later date or to arrange work experience that has already been offered to me face to face.
The idea of getting enough work experience can often be overwhelming and out of reach but, it is not always obtained through lengthy applications and procedures but can be found through getting to know those in the profession. When I was in my first year I plucked up the courage to speak to Jeffrey Lamb who judged the Brighton v Sussex mooting competition and have since shadowed him twice and kept in contact with him.
Despite it seeming impossible and lengthy to get work experience, it is most definitely worth the struggle! In order to know if law is really the career that is for you, experiencing the profession first hand is essential and seeing what the difference between the life of a solicitor and barrister is also important. I have been fortunate enough to do this and see the difference between a newly qualified barrister compared to a head of chambers (which is vast)and still have not been put off of wanting to become a barrister.
The best part of shadowing a barrister is seeing a case from beginning to end and watching it develop. It is so interesting to see all of the work that is involved and the communication that takes place between prosecution and defence, the judge and either the police or solicitors (when talking about a criminal case) which enables the case to move on more quickly than it otherwise would.
One attribute that is essential for a barrister to have is confidence and this is something which always fascinates me to see in others and develop for myself. In order to develop this I have taken part in a number of mooting competitions and have moved on from mooting at the University to representing the University in external competitions. Taking part in moots has developed my research methods due to the amount that you need to do in a short period of time to be able to stand up and argue your case to a judge who questions you at any opportunity. I have learnt that as long as you know what is necessary, the questions will not phase you but rather assist you in delivering your argument.
Without obtaining the work experience that I have or competing in the number of moots, I would not feel as equipped as I currently do to complete my final year of University and take the BPTC next year. The main thing that I want to get across is to not be afraid to try out something new or talk to those people that matter. If you don’t try, you will never have the opportunity to succeed.