Christina Georgiou’s hard work and determination saw her complete her training contract with Squire Patton Boggs in 2017. Here she shares her journey and offers some great advice to those students starting out.
Aside from its reputation, I chose ULaw after attending an open day in Birmingham. The head of the LPC course was fantastic at explaining the benefits of the course and the assistance that the careers service could provide. When I started the LPC I did not have a training contract and I felt confident that ULaw could assist me in my search.
I had a great time. I studied the full time LPC from 2012-2013 in Birmingham and finished with a distinction. The tutors were excellent teachers and really knew their subject. The classes were taught with enthusiasm and extra help was always offered. The university also offered a great careers service which assisted me with my training contract applications. Education aside, I made some great friends during my time on the LPC.
Carrying out various work experience at different law firms made me see what life as a solicitor would be like. Working in the legal profession is very different from studying law and I would recommend anyone thinking of going into law to obtain a variety of experience within the field.
Pro bono work is a great way for students to understand whether or not law is for them, as well as CV building. Whilst on the LPC I was involved in the legal advice clinic. We had to interview a client, research the law on their problem and write a letter of advice. We were supervised when preparing the advice, but conducted the client interview alone. This experience was a fantastic way to practice interview skills as well as research into a new area of law.
I found the ULaw careers team to be invaluable. The team assisted with my applications whilst I was on the course and provided me with practice interviews and psychometric tests. When first doing training contract applications, it is difficult to understand what the recruiter is looking for in an application and also the best way to sell yourself on paper. The careers service guided me through the process and gave me useful tips along the way. I also signed up to the ULaw alumni service and sent my draft applications to the careers team to proof read. They were fantastic at giving feedback.
Obtain as much legal experience as possible as this is the best way to build your skills and know whether a career in law is for you. Good school, university and LPC results are a given, and firms look for their applicants to have something else to offer. Think about what skills you have from outside work and hobbies and really sell these on your applications. Be yourself. Clients want lawyers who are not only good at their job, but who are also down to earth and approachable.
Networking is also very important as it allows you to build your contacts within the legal field. When networking, be yourself. Chat to as many people as you can and try and find a common interest between yourself and the person you are talking to. Smile and be confident - don't be too nervous to speak to people.
I obtained my training contract at Squire Patton Boggs last summer following completing a vacation placement at the firm. The vacation placement was two weeks long and consisted of a number of group activities, presentations and interviews, as well as sitting in two different departments over the two weeks.
I would advise anyone who is trying to get a training contract to be determined. They do not come easy and the applications require a lot of hard work and preparation. Law firms really like it when you can offer something different, so try and think of how you can stand out. When I was applying I had a number of rejections and this can be disappointing and sometimes I felt like giving up. Don't let rejections get you down but instead try and learn from them. Obtain feedback and use this to improve on your next application.
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