This time last year I spent every morning with a coffee in one hand and ‘The Beermat Entrepreneur’ book in the other in preparation for Bright Network’s event ‘Getting Ahead in Commercial Law’. Bright Network describes itself as an ‘exclusive careers network’ which seeks to connect particular graduates with career opportunities. It was brought to my attention by the University of Leicester’s Student Law Society who suggested that students who were interested in a career in commercial law should attend the event to find out more about the day to day life of working in a city law firm from current employees.
As part of the event we participated in a speed dating style networking session. We were put into small groups and had a set amount of time to speak to representatives from each of the firms before the time was up and we were asked to move on to the next firm. The firms in attendance included Slaughter and May, Clifford Chance and Freshfields to name just a few. I learnt a lot from the event about, for example, what the firms expect from their trainees, and what it is really like to work for each of the firms.
Events such as this one can really help budding lawyers build up a picture of what it’s like to work in a particular area of the law, which in turn enables you to start to make decisions about which area of the profession you would like to pursue in the future. It also gives you the opportunity to start to accumulate contacts from the firms you may be interested in applying to, which can definitely prove helpful later down the line.
Bright Network hosts a multitude of different events which you can check out on their website.
During my second year I also attended workshops organised by the University of Leicester’s Student Law Society, such as the Norton Rose Fulbright presentation about how to secure a training contract and the University of Law workshop: ‘Law firm as a Business’. These workshops are great because they teach you things that you do not learn as part of your law degree about law in practice and the legal profession. The Student Law Society hosts a number of events such as these throughout the year to help you prepare for your future and life beyond university and I would really recommend getting involved at some point during your time at the University of Leicester.