In this post on my LITM Q&A series, Isobel Wright talks about her experiences of studying law and being an in-house trainee.
What made you decide to study law?
I have wanted to become a solicitor since before I can remember. So, I always knew I would study law at university. I have never considered anything else.
Where did you study law? Where did you study the LPC?
I have a joint honours degree in Law and French from Swansea University. I studied the harmonisation of international laws at the University of Geneva and International Environmental Law at the Graduate Institute of Geneva. I studied the LPC at the University of Law Guildford and have so far completed the core modules of the PSC at BPP.
What was your favourite module to study, and why?
I would say employment law (not that it’s what I do now!). My lecturer for the llb had many years of experience and was incredibly knowledgeable. She always gave detailed examples of situations she had experienced during her career and her lectures were engrossing. I later volunteered at the GERALD clinic at UoL and my role was to speak to the clients and find out the background details. I found the cases so interesting and people were so honest about their situations. It was gripping!
What, if any, extra-curricular activities did you get involved in whilst studying law?
I didn’t participate in many group activities or organised groups post college. I got really into the gym and lifting weights (nothing impressive) and I took part in some classes with the dance society. I also attended quite a few French related groups and events. At the UoL I volunteered at the GERALD clinic, had the opportunity to shadow a judge, took part in charity events/fund raising. In Geneva (ERASMUS year) I was part of some ex-pat groups.
You are doing your Training Contract in-house, what made you want to go in-house?
It actually happened by happy accident! I have previous experience in-house and I love the environment. Two years ago I was headhunted for a temp position as a legal assistant. I was honest in my interview about my goals and wanting to find a training contract, which I was aware could not be done at this company (they weren’t a training contract provider at the time) but even still, after my initial interview, I was offered a permanent role. I love the job and quickly became a part of the team. After a few months my boss asked me to look into how the company could become a training contract provider and offered me a TC!
How have you found your Training Contract so far?
It’s been very busy. I’m lucky to have had the opportunity to do my TC in-house. The sales team don’t see me as a trainee and the work is spread out evenly. We’re a close team and I can ask anyone anything at anytime. So, I have a lot of responsibility but I’m also incredibly supported.
What area of law do you hope to qualify into?
At the moment I would say IT Law but I’m not entirely certain yet.
What are your future plans? Legal related? Long term? Short term?
Short term: finish my TC and become a fully qualified solicitor!
Long term: To be a solicitor! Compared to a lot of other professions, there’s not often a lot of room for upwards progression in-house (I’m not sure if that’s the case everywhere but it has been in my experience in several in-house teams). At the moment I’m happy where I am and I can only imagine being here. There’s still so much to learn and I want to grow as much as possible and gain as much experience as I can. I love my team and since joining I have had constant opportunities to learn and improve. Both legally and in other areas (I have been able to create my own software and I am learning to code). So, it’s an exciting place to be!
If you could give one piece of advice to people considering studying law, what would it be?
Just do it! If you’re already set on a career in law – go for it. Do not doubt yourself.
If you’re not sure what you want to do in the future, there are so many doors that will open for you when you have a law degree. It will stand you in good stead for the future regardless of what you decide to do. I know many people who have a law degree and have subsequently pursued a different and successful career. Once I graduated I was inundated with calls from recruiters inviting me to interviews for all sorts of jobs!