LLB (Hons) Law
James says that his degree from Edge Hill University has given him an incredibly solid grounding for progressing into the next stage of his legal career. Not only did he leave university with a comprehensive knowledge of the law, but he had also developed a wide range of practical skills including commercial awareness, legal research and organisation skills. James says that the support he received from University led to career focus and refreshed determination to pursue his aims with vigour and confidence in what is undoubtedly an incredibly tough market for law graduates.
Upon leaving University, James was able to continue working part time whilst studying for the postgraduate diploma in legal practice (LPC) at Chester College of Law. James says that he enjoyed his degree more as it enabled him to push his own boundaries and found that it really stretched him academically.
James was able to secure a training contract with Trowers & Hamlins. Trowers & Hamlins is an international law firm with offices throughout the UK and Middle East. He will be based in Manchester but also have the opportunity to take a seat of training in London or an overseas office. Having been in a very fortunate position at offer stage, James chose Trowers over other firms because of his relationship with the firm. He had attended a law fair and made sure that the graduate recruitment team knew who he was; ensuring, at all stages, that he made a good impression.
Since leaving University, James was able to secure employment straight away, achieving successive promotions in his business development role, whilst also playing a significant role in the local community. James was appointed a Vice-Chair of Governors of a high achieving college, a Trustee of an academy and has held a range of other community-based roles. Most recently, he was appointed as the inaugural President of the Law Alumni Association at the University.
James has some advice to those wishing to pursue a career in law.
“I would strongly recommend that you speak to your careers service – ask them to assist you. Submit applications early. Don’t complete applications in one sitting. Leave it for a day or two and come back to it and re-read it; double, triple and quadruple check the forms and ask others to do so as well. You could have the most incredible application but if your spelling is out or you have a mistake in there – you will probably get binned.
I would also say be ambitious. If you want to work at the top of the profession, aim at the very top of the profession. Let them know who you are, target them, attend law fairs, open days, seminars, etc. If you are having difficulties in getting a foot in the door, speak to your law society and ask them to organise for them to come in and do a presentation.
Don’t be boring – go out and get involved in as much as you can. Your academics are important, but if you are studying law at Edge Hill then you will already be smart enough – it just comes down to careful planning and organisational skills.
Whilst at university, don’t aspire to be a great law student. Aspire to be a great lawyer. University is when your career starts. Build up your professional network. Your professional network isn’t the same as your personal network – make the distinction clear.
Final piece of advice; don’t give up. It is tough, one of the toughest careers to get into but if this is something that you are passionate about be prepared for rejection and be prepared to think outside the box for ways to impress employers. I once heard of somebody who sent a copy of their CV and covering letter in a gift wrapped box to the training partner…”