Studying law at Edge Hill was the first step that current student Chloe Moran took towards achieving her dream of becoming a solicitor. Since then, she’s proven to herself and her peers on the LLB (Hons) law programme that with hard work, commitment and dedication, you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Now beginning her final year of study, Chloe has a graduate training contract lined up with law firm Irwin Mitchell, and she plans to support her peers so that they can follow in her footsteps and achieve their goals.
How did you take the first steps towards working with law firms?
In my first year, I got involved with law firms as much as possible by attending open days and events at local firms here in the North West. This was when I first discovered Irwin Mitchell, who are based in Manchester, along with other firms that recruit students for work experience each year. Then in my second year, I heard about vacation schemes – these involve completing a one- or two-week placement in a law firm. They are super competitive to get a place on, but I put the work into my applications and I was offered a place with Irwin Mitchell.
What did your vacation scheme involve?
I got to take part in lots of different tasks, and I was scored and given feedback based on how I performed. I undertook an interview with a partner of the firm, which was great experience for me. I also did a written assessment at the end of the week, reflecting on my skills. My score at the end of the vacation scheme was in the top 10% of all interns – which meant I was offered a two year training contract with the firm when I graduate. I felt really lucky and proud.
What does the training contract offer mean for you?
It feels like there is a huge weight off my shoulders now, and I’m so proud of myself for getting the offer. Irwin Mitchell will pay for me to complete my solicitors exams as part of the training, and these are usually expensive and tricky to fund, so it really will help me to progress in my career. Getting to this position was hard work, and law firms have rigorous recruitment processes for their vacation schemes, but the work has definitely paid off.
How did you find out about things like vacation schemes and training contracts?
When I started my law degree I had no idea what these things were, and that’s completely normal. Our representative from the Edge Hill careers team, Emma Bonati, came into our lectures early on in the degree and told us everything there is to know about building your employability, and how to make a good application. It was at this point I found out about vacation schemes and open days at law firms. Our tutors are really helpful and knowledgeable, too. I decided I was most interested in specialising in medical negligence when I become a solicitor, so I did my research and discovered that Irwin Mitchell is a perfect fit for me.
“I quickly learned that, if I wanted to land the offer of a training contract in my second year, I needed to build my experience in my first year. Being proactive and having the support from my tutors and careers has really paid off.”
What advice would you give to anyone thinking of studying law at Edge Hill?
If you want to be a solicitor, I would recommend getting as much experience as you can now, so that you can impress firms from your first year. It doesn’t need to be legal experience – I worked as a waitress part-time and I also volunteered at Citizen’s Advice, and both roles gave me loads to talk about in applications and on my CV. Transferable skills like communication and problem solving are so valuable in the legal sector. I would also recommend making an appointment with careers straight away when you start at Edge Hill. They’ll help you with your CV, finding part-time work and volunteering opportunities… they are fantastic. Most of all, I’d say be prepared to hit the ground running. The support is there, but you have to put the work and commitment in.
Tell us about the on-course opportunities you have had to build your employability?
One of the first things I did when I started on my degree was join the Edge Hill University Students Law Society. I love being involved with the society – we organise events and guest lectures. I personally organised a ‘Diversity in the Legal Profession’ event which was such an enjoyable experience and gave me something unique to talk about in my application and interview with Irwin Mitchell. I also took Lawyers’ Skills modules, which gave me great experience of real-world tasks like drafting client letters. Modules like the law clinic in the final year are also great choices, especially for those who maybe haven’t built as much practical experience.
How are you feeling about heading into your final year at Edge Hill?
I feel really excited about being able to focus all my energy on my studies and getting the best grades I can. Not having to worry about job applications is a huge relief. I’m also the first in my year group to have secured a training contract, which is very exciting for me! I’m hoping to be able to help other students with their applications and let them know how much support is available to them. I’m also planning to encourage first and second year students to follow their dreams and not hold back – I want every Edge Hill law student to know that they have the ability to make their aspirations a reality if they set their mind to it, and I’m living proof of that.
May 26, 2022