Rhys Kinsey-Jones is currently studying the LLB with us at out Bristol campus and hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps to become a solicitor. We caught up with Rhys to discuss his time studying at The University of Law and the experiences that inspired him to specialise in family law.
I chose to study at ULaw because it teaches law degrees, like other universities, but it is better because the lecturers have a background practicing law. This is fantastic because rather than just learning about the law, I also learn how it works in reality and what it is like to work in practice. The lecturers are amazing.
I was also particularly attracted to the Employability Service. When I chose to study for a degree, I wanted to use it to get a job afterwards. The Employability Service helps with that ambition. The number of people obtaining a job after studying at ULaw was very high and I wanted to try ensure my future as much as possible.
When I think of the word ambition, I think of aspirations, a passion or an optimistic view on the future. My ambition is to become a solicitor at a top law firm in Bristol. Initially, I wanted to become a business solicitor; now I want to become a family law solicitor (as a result of activities set up by ULaw).
I have already achieved some of my career ambitions. I set up my own company RLKJ Solutions Limited in 2017. I set up the company to deliver presentations and spread awareness of human trafficking and slavery in the workplace. This was to aid companies with their S.54 Modern Slavery Act 2015 compliance (where companies over a certain turnover must release a statement each financial year of what steps they took to combat human trafficking and slavery in the workplace).
While working with a Pro Bono Service I have helped many people with their benefits and I hope I can do more in the future.
Thanks to the Pro Bono service at ULaw, I have worked at Nailsea Disability Initiative as a benefits advisor. I worked with vulnerable people and helped them obtain the benefits they deserve. Rather than working with companies, I was working with human beings and the work I was doing helped those people directly. I visibly made an impact on somebody’s life. The first time I did that, it felt amazing. This, coupled with my family law studies, helped me to decide that a career in family law would be very enjoyable.
I’m also president of the Chess Society. This has helped increase my aspirations; having to constantly think and strategise for a specific goal is very enjoyable indeed. I was with some friends in Weatherspoon’s and we were playing chess. We discussed what clubs and societies there were on campus and more specifically the lack of a chess society. I suggested that we set one up and that is where the idea first came from. I wanted to be the president because I love chess. I also wanted to practice skills that came with a managerial role.
My father is a solicitor and he is the one who initially sparked my interest in the law. As I grew up he would take me into his office and show me what it was like. I remember one time where I was in the office with him and he just finished a case with a client. There were a lot of laughs and it was a lovely atmosphere. To be a solicitor you have to be sociable and friendly and I knew that was something I wanted to be.
Thanks to ULaw I have been able to gain insight into the practice at law firms. I have networked at numerous events and created relationships I hope to continue into the future. Through competitions I have participated in on behalf of ULaw I have learned skills like negotiation and self-analysis. On a personal level, I think I have developed my socialising; I am not as afraid to approach people as I used to be.
I’d tell all new ULaw students to get involved with the Pro Bono Service and the Employability Service. They are invaluable in terms of help. I wish I could told my younger self to do more with the Pro Bono Service sooner. It would have been more beneficial to me if I used them earlier. Thanks to them I have been able to help Nailsea, create presentations for school kids with Streetlaw and I helped create legal fact sheets for legal clinics. These activities wouldn’t have been possible without the Pro Bono service.
Thanks to the Employability Service, my applications to law firms have been tailored to suit them. This service has also helped inspire me to find the right type of work experience for my career ambitions.
In five years I hope to be working at a law firm, supporting people who need my help.
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