Lauren Jones is an alumna of The University of Law who studied the Bar Professional Training Course and graduated from our Birmingham campus in 2017. She has since gone on to work as a County Court Advocate with LPC Law. She was recognised as a Future History Maker by ULaw and has ambitions to become a barrister with a general civil practice, specialising in employment law.
It is a real privilege to receive one of these awards. I am proud to become a part of ULaw’s history and feel very appreciative that my hard work is being recognised by the university.
I chose ULaw for two main reasons. Firstly, ULaw has a much more rigorous selection process than other providers. This led me to believe my peers would be of a higher calibre, which would allow me to learn better. Secondly, ULaw provides significantly more advocacy practice than is required by the Bar Standards Board. This meant I would be more practised and probably better at advocacy by the time I finished the course than I might be if I studied elsewhere.
In the litigation classes there was a lot of opportunity to practice the types of questions which would be in the exams. This meant I knew what to expect and could therefore design my revision accordingly. The small sizes of the advocacy classes allowed the tutors to give specific and highly personalised feedback, which allowed me to track my development closely and make improvements. The fact the classes were in a tutorial rather than a lecture style (as I have heard some other providers use) was valuable because this meant there was plenty of opportunity to ask questions and work through trickier issues with the tutors.
During the week I worked very long hours every day so that the majority of the time (other than during revision) I was able to take the weekends off. This routine may not work for everyone but I believe it was key to my own success because it prevented me from becoming too stressed or jaded.
Studying law is important because it teaches you the analytical skills and questioning approach which is essential to work as a lawyer. Studying law has contributed to my career because without the legal qualifications I have I could not have become a solicitor, nor could I progress to becoming a barrister.
Before deciding upon a career at the Bar I think it is important for students to consider quite carefully the pros and cons of being self-employed and if they are willing to work the types of hours barristers do. Once the decision is made I would advise building up mini-pupillages in a variety of practice areas to enable the students to form preferences. I would also advise engaging in mooting, debating and public-speaking from an early stage in order both to practise and to begin building their CVs in readiness for pupillage applications.
After finishing the course I moved to London in June and I have since been working as a County Court Advocate with LPC Law on the South Eastern circuit. I wish to become a barrister with a general civil practice but with a particular specialism in employment law. I have made a number of applications to London chambers and I hope I am lucky enough to secure pupillage.
In my current role as a County Court Advocate I particularly enjoy creative problem solving. The process of engaging in detailed case analysis (both factual and legal) and deciding what the most persuasive argument is and how the evidence can be presented to suit it is a very stimulating and satisfying process.
My main passion outside of law is travel. I work very hard to save money so that I can visit as many new places as possible, which always gives me something to aim for and a justification for any long hours I have to put in. This summer I will be spending five months travelling in South America, India and South East Asia.