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Find out About Our Pro Bono Opportunities from Alumnus Sergii Kupriienko

Sergii Kupriienko, an alumnus of The University of Law, studied for his LPC at our Guildford centre graduating in 2015. Whilst there he took full advantage of the careers and employability service we offer, including the extensive pro bono programme. We caught up with him and asked him more about his experience.

Whilst studying the LPC I had the opportunity to work in 5 different pro bono placements including the local Citizen’s Advice Bureau and the Legal Advice Centre.

It was great to get various experience in different environments, working on different cases. I was able to get involved with judicial shadowing as well as shadowing a solicitor too. I got to review documents, analyse case materials and observe trials at the local County Court. It also tested my analytical, research, written and soft skills, including time recording, labelling bundles, filing documents and cataloguing the research. One of the University tutors also acts as a supervisor whilst you’re on your experience too so that’s always reassuring.

Pro bono work is very valuable to help you develop in your route to practice. It helps you apply the theory and knowledge learnt on the LPC into practice and get first-hand experience.

Having pro bono experience on your CV will certainly make it look more persuasive. It will show that you’re taking your studies seriously and shows commitment to learning and developing. It will help you to improve many skills and abilities and put everything you’re learning into practice. For me, it has certainly made me feel more prepared for a career in law and has given me more insight and understanding. It gives you real experience and good exposure.

The most exciting and challenging case I worked on was at the Legal Advice Centre. Another student from my course and I were put together to work on a case dealing with a commercial business that supplied refrigeration goods and services.

Our client’s company seemed to be acting as an agent on behalf of another company, which refused to pay the commission for the provided services and terminated the agreement between them. Our client had contacted us to check if they had any rights to claim back the commission and query the termination.

This was quite a serious matter and very challenging. We had to undertake a lot of research, contract analysis and interviews, and eventually provided a letter of advice.

There were elements of this case that I hadn’t touched upon in the core modules on the LPC, so it was really great to learn even more and learn it hands on in a real life situation.

Ultimately the client was very impressed and satisfied with the advice that they received. It was a very hard and challenging piece of work but I felt a great sense of satisfaction knowing I had made a small difference.

It is extremely important to make the most of all opportunities and network whenever possible throughout your studies. It is a great way to meet people in the industry and be exposed to potential career opportunities. It also keeps you close to the legal industry to keep up to date on the latest developments.

When networking, whether at events or online communities, use every opportunity to showcase yourself and stand out. Demonstrate your commercial awareness, research firms – impress people with your knowledge of the legal profession.

I attended the Career’s Fair which was a fantastic networking event to meet law firms and through the University I was also introduced to some of the organisations uniting lawyers.

You never know what networking can lead to, so put yourself out there, be active, enthusiastic, motivated, present yourself well and participate.

The University careers team were fantastic. Right from the start of my course they helped me come up with a strategy. They did an objective assessment of my CV which was very helpful, providing me with advice but also motivation that I could actively do things to hopefully achieve even more and make a difference to my career ahead.

In addition I successfully applied for the University’s mentoring scheme and received guidance from a solicitor at a city law firm. He really helped me with training contract applications and interview practice, which was extremely useful.

The University of Law course and teaching methods are a very effective combination of independent and group studies. The individual studying to gain basic skills and knowledge, mixed with the workshops, kept studying interesting and well balanced. The tutors are enthusiastic and real experts. As qualified lawyers you’re dealing with people who know what it’s like to have a career in the legal world and know what it takes to succeed. The LPC has given me more than I ever expected. Not only has it prepared me for a career in law but it has given me commercial awareness which is absolutely key in today’s working environment.

I wanted to study law because I wanted to work in a constantly developing, competitive and challenging environment. The University of Law has a great reputation and provides students not only with a professional course but with many other great opportunities. I was very impressed with the professional approach by the tutors teaching the course, but also equally amazed by the additional activities and opportunities on offer such as pro bono, mooting competition, mock trials and the debating society.