How the School of Law prepared me for my career
What first attracted you to Sheffield?
The Students' Union and the overall friendly feel of the city when I came for the open day attracted me to Sheffield. I also wanted to come somewhere that wasn't too big and that had lots of green spaces so it was perfect! On top of that, obviously it is a prestigious university with a great reputation for high-quality teaching.
What was your favourite thing about the University of Sheffield?
I loved the Students' Union as I previously mentioned. I thought it was amazing that there was such a fantastic facility for students to meet centrally, whether that be for studying, meeting for coffee, or for nights out in the Foundry (the Students' Union event space).
What was your favourite thing about the School of Law?
The School of Law was a really great place to do a law degree, there are so many amazing members of staff who are there to support you throughout your degree. The modules on offer were varied and interesting, giving students a different perspective on a different criminological and legal issues.
Did you get involved with any extra curricular activities? Tell us about your experience.
I was involved in the Edward Bramley Law Society, acting as Sports Secretary in my final year. This was a really rewarding experience, as I got to meet a range of different people within the law school. I organised trials for players, designed kits, planned nights out and managed the social media account. I learnt lots of transferrable skills for my job including communicating effectively with people, managing my time and organising events.
Please describe your current employment status, role and responsibilities.
I am a Trainee Solicitor at Knights in Sheffield. I am currently in my fourth and final seat, due to qualify in September. I have experienced Private Client, Litigation and Real Estate, all of which have been extremely diverse and interesting departments, teaching me a variety of transferrable skills. Each day is different, I attend client meetings, have been to mediations and been on networking events but the majority of my time is spent drafting documents, conducting legal research and liaising with clients. I have lots of client contact which is a really big part of the job for me. I am able to support people in difficult times in their lives, offer expert support and guidance and provide a suitable outcome.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
My whole training contract has been really enjoyable but I think that a highlight would have to be attending the Sheffield Junior Lawyers Division Winter Ball. This was a great excuse to get dressed up and go to an event with my colleagues and connections in Sheffield. A lovely way to celebrate Christmas!
What are your future career goals?
My ultimate goal is to one day make partner but that is a long way off! Between now and then I want to built a strong client base with whom I have a good relationship. I want to be amazing at what I do and be able to undertake rewarding work for my clients. I also want to give back to people just starting their careers, by offering advice and training as and when I can.
How do you use the skills gained at University in your career now?
The main thing University taught me was confidence. Being outside of my comfort zone in seminars, events just generally when meeting new people means that now I find it much easier to speak to clients and form meaningful relationships with them.
How are you involved with the University of Sheffield now?
I have recently got back in touch with Louise Glover and Kate Campbell-Pilling in relation to getting involved in Sheffield alumni events. I attended an employers panel for the first year initiative which was a really great event giving students an insight into different careers a law degree can lead to. I am hoping to attend more events in the future such as hosting a taster session with my firm.
What piece of advice would you give to your younger self or a recent graduate?
The one piece of advice I would give would be just to believe in yourself and persevere. Nobody gets to where they want to be without facing setbacks and rejection so you have to learn to learn from them, rather than taking them as a negative. Go into everything you do with a "can-do" attitude and that confidence will be felt by people. If you don't back yourself, how can you expect anyone else to back you?
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