Lawyer in London 2016

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Post written by Helen Cuthbert, Helena Kennedy Law Clinic at SHU

This year’s Lawyer in London trip, which took place from 21-23 June, was a resounding success. During the trip the students, supported by SHU staff, visited the Royal Courts of Justice, Amnesty International and Freshfields.

Each of the days highlighted different aspects of the legal profession, from highflying magic circle lawyers to human rights based charities, showing the diverse range of careers available to Law graduates.

Some of the additional experiences which were not expected included joining with hundreds of people in Trafalgar Square for the Jo Cox MP memorial and seeing the Princess Royal at Amnesty.

Some of the students who attended Lawyer in London have summed up their experiences and highlight the great time that they had.

Lucy says:

‘Lawyer in London was an amazing experience. Throughout the trip I gained many skills that will help me in the future with my career.

Lawyer in London Group Photo

Lawyer in London Group Photo

Spending time at Freshfields was my favourite. Speaking to lawyers and also trainee Lawyers helped to gain an insight into how a magic circle law firm works.

Overall it was an incredible experience and I would encourage everyone to apply next year as it has made me even more determined to be successful.’

 Taylor says:

“The experience overall was interesting, a fantastic learning opportunity and most of all fun.

Selfie at Lawyer in London 2016

Selfie at Lawyer in London 2016

Getting to go to the Royal Courts of Justice, Amnesty International and Freshfields not only provided useful career information but genuinely made me interested in areas of law that I never took interest in before!

From my experience this was a great opportunity which gave useful tips and information for going forward into a career in law. Thanks for a great trip!”

Law students inspirational day at court dinner

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Lincolns Inn Dinner 1

Post by Level 5 Law student, Millie Broadbent.

The Lincoln’s Inn of Court Dinner was one of the most inspirational days I have had since beginning my degree. As a law student who is still unsure whether to go down the solicitor or barrister route, this day gave me the assurance that the bar is ‘hopefully’ my next step.
Lincolns Inn Dinner
The opportunity to speak to practising barristers and hear about their routes was a great chance to be able to learn about the differing choices before and after studying for the bar. The meal was of course fantastic and this gave us the opportunity to question the barristers on what it is really like in their profession. The building and the people you were able to chat to inspired me for the next steps into my career and gave me an insight into what my career could turn into.

 

Lawyer in London 2015

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During this year’s summer break, twenty 1st and 2nd year students from the Law and Criminology department, took part in “Lawyer in London 2015”.  Selected students spent three days experiencing and exploring the different routes they could take with a law degree.

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On day one the group toured the Royal Courts of Justice and took part in a mock criminal trial.

Day two was spent at Magic Circle firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.  The students met with partners, the recruitment team and current trainees, took part in a negotiation exercise and toured the impressive offices (they have hotel-style bedrooms, an onsite dentist and a restaurant!!).

Day three had a Human Rights focus and was spent at the trendy Shoreditch offices of Amnesty International.  The students debated the importance of preserving international human rights and also heard from the Prisoners’ Advice Service.

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The three days provided an insight into different career areas and all students felt that their career aspirations had developed as a result of the trip.  In fact, two students have subsequently set up a SHU Negotiation Society, inspired by their experience at Freshfields.

Feedback from the trip included:

“Great experience – I am so grateful! Definitely learnt so much and it has fulfilled everything I wanted to gain from the trip”

“I would definitely recommend this to others as I know it will help my career development and CV for the future”.

Sheryl Cruickshank, Employment Adviser, Law and Criminology

 

My Assessment Day Experience at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

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Mustafa is a second year Law student.

So, in early April I ventured to the capital and felt like a high street commercial lawyer for a couple of days;  taking the tube to Fleet Street, enjoying the surroundings of London, staying in a rather sumptuous hotel for a couple of days and being warmly welcomed by a Magic Circle Law Firm. I had been invited to take part in the Stephen Lawrence Scholarship Scheme, a scheme designed for Black Minority Law students to take part in a two day assessment centre at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.   I took the opportunity to take part in this scheme so I could gain some valuable experience, and obviously aim for a scholarship.

mustafa

After talks with the career advisers at Sheffield Hallam I realised preparation was key, so I did background research on the Law firm to get the gist of what work they do and what type of qualities they look for in a person they hire or award scholarships to.

There were just over fifty Black first year Law students like myself from across the country, all with different backgrounds and rather remarkable stories.  I enjoyed meeting highly motivated individuals who have all strived to get where they were on that day and I really enjoyed the competitive edge that every individual brought to the table.

We took part in many activities that tested our aptitude to think fast on our feet and it was really an action packed couple of days, as it is with most assessment centres.   I was initially daunted by the fact that every move I made was being watched and tested, but once we got started I genuinely found it was surprisingly fun.   If I were to pick my favourite part of the assessment centre it would be the interview I had at the end, with two Senior Partners at the firm, as this allowed me to demonstrate myself on a more personal level with the lawyers that I aspire to develop into.

Unfortunately, I did not receive the scholarship. I felt as though if I engaged more in discussions when all the students were together, I may have stood out a little more. Obviously this requires confidence in public speaking and I am sure that is something I can work on.

I was invited back for a feedback session where I was told I narrowly missed out and they gave me some valuable feedback that provided me with confidence in myself going forward.   I was also lucky enough to secure a work placement where I will be required to shadow selected partners and solicitors that work at Freshfields.

This was a priceless experience that I am very proud of taking part in.   It has motivated me to work harder in studies as it has shown me firsthand what future holds for those who strive for success.

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My advice for anyone taking part in this scheme in the future, or for anyone with an upcoming assessment centre, is to without a doubt prepare, this can be achieved by making sure you know about the type of activities that will occur on that day, and what it is they want to see in you, that way you will stand a better chance in showcasing yourself in the best way.

 

Go Further, Go Higher

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Go Further Go Higher Summer School gives school pupils insight into the world of Law

 by Belle Fletcher (Pre-enrolment officer, Schools Outreach Team)

This year’s Go Further Go Higher Summer School took place on 23 – 25 June 2015 and centred on the theme of Law. The event was attended by 11 year 10 pupils currently under local authority care from Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. Activities developed and delivered by Sheffield Hallam in collaboration with The University of Sheffield (UoS) and supported by The Higher Education Progression Partnership (HEPP) and Careers and Employment Service aimed to give the attendees a taste of studying law at university and build confidence through teamwork and communication.

The first day was held at UoS, where attendees took part in a law lecture, learnt about strange and wonderful laws from all over world and were introduced to debating.

The attendees were in for a treat on Day 2 as the day was focussed on communication and presentation skills and delivered by Sheffield Theatres. During the morning the young people had a tour of the three theatres, found out about the history and had the opportunity to raid the costume and props department! In the afternoon a local actress (who appeared in the television show ‘This is England’) delivered a workshop to encourage team building, speaking and listening and performance to help make the young people more comfortable with speaking in front of each other – which was crucial for the final day’s debate.

Sheffield Hallam’s Careers and Employment Service also led a workshop to enable the young people to consider what jobs might suit their personality and explore the broad range of careers open to them, challenging common stereotypes. This included considering how the labour market is changing and investigating emerging roles such as social media manager and robotics engineer. Carers were also offered advice on how they can best support the young people with their educational and career choices.

On the final day at SHU, the attendees had dedicated time to research their ideas and concepts and bring these together to debate the legalisation of performance enhancing drugs in professional sports. Teams of 5/6 argued their points to a panel of experts in the mooting court and after much deliberation it was decided the teams were awarded a draw! The summer school ended with a graduation and prize giving ceremony where the students got to wear a cap and gown to celebrate their achievements over the past three days!

The feedback from attendees was great, with 100% of young people wanting to attend similar events in the future. Staff involved were truly astonished at the journey the attendees had taken in such a short space of time – from individuals not wanting to interact with each other at the beginning, to standing in front of a full courtroom and rebutting comments about their debate topic.

The summer school is a wonderful way of engaging and raising the aspirations of local looked after children, who may not otherwise have had the opportunity. One attendee stated; “I have learnt how to debate, I am proud of myself, I want to join university, I am happy.”

You can find out more about support for Care Leavers at Sheffield Hallam here: https://blogs.shu.ac.uk/studentadviceandinformation/students/info-for/care-leavers/

Braving the Snow to Volunteer!

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Last week saw the annual Volunteering Fair run by the Psychology, Sociology & Politics and Law & Criminology departments, in connection with Hallam Union Volunteering and Careers and Employment Service. Despite the snow and wintery conditions, eleven external organisations attended to showcase their opportunities and share about their good work. 160 students from across the departments attended to find out more, network with guests and explore their career options. The Criminology Society and Psychology Society stands proved popular as students learned about talks and social events they could attend relevant to their course.

Of the students who attended 60 completed a short evaluation form:

  • 2/3 of respondents stated they were planning to begin volunteering with an organisation they had met at the fair
  • 68% of respondents felt that the opportunities were relevant to their course and career aspirations
  • 85% of respondents were level 4 or 5 students, indicating that many were considering volunteering early on in their degree

Students who missed the event but are keen to volunteer, are advised to contact Hallam Union Volunteering http://hallamunion.org/volunteering/ or the organisations using the weblinks below.

A big thank you to all our guests for being involved!

vol fair

Organisations who attended and a brief summary of their opportunities are listed below:

ESCALEvery Sheffield Child Articulate and Literate www.sheffield.gov.uk/escal

Volunteers will be supporting primary school children with their reading on a one-to-one basis which also develops their self-esteem and confidence. You will receive full training and all resources will be provided by the school.

Sheffield Liberal Democrats are looking for volunteers who are wanting a different kind of volunteering experience on their C.V.s. Typical volunteering opportunities can include: Helping to produce political literature, creating social networking content, coordinating ground communications, leading doorstep teams, community outreach and organising campaigning events for Councillors, MEPs and even the Deputy Prime Minister!  www.libdems.org.uk/volunteer

Sheffield Labour Party www.laboursheffield.org.uk/

Sheffield Labour Party covers the area represented by the 28 council wards that make up Sheffield – and the 6 constituencies that send MPs to Westminster. We’re also part of the Yorkshire and the Humber Euro Region that elects 6 MEP’s – and the areas in the north of the city that have parish councils. You can join or volunteer via this site…. or just come back and see what we are up to.

Silent Cities work with anyone without a voice in mainstream society and teach individuals and community organisations the skills to get their voice heard. Anyone with an interest in media activism, supporting vulnerable people, or just wanting to know more about social enterprise would make a suitable volunteer.  www.silentcities.org.uk

Rotherham Hospice is not just a building – it’s a way of caring for people both in the Hospice and the community. Our care places the patient and not the illness at the centre of everything we do. Opportunities include Hospice Good Neighbours, Community Volunteering, Patient Care Volunteering and Bereavement Support

www.rotherhamhospice.org.uk

TimeBuilders is an exciting and innovative project based at St. Mary’s, sandwiched between the City Centre and Sharrow. TimeBuilders enables people to transform the community in bite-sized chunks. Our main focus at the moment is finding and developing volunteer leaders or organisers to plan and deliver projects, social events or one-off activities. http://timebuilders.wordpress.com/

Roundabout Roundabout is Sheffield’s local youth housing charity, providing shelter, support and life skills to young people. We give emergency accommodation for homeless young people at our direct access hostel and support young people to live independently. Roundabout also offers young people a comprehensive programme of training and involvement which breaks the cycle of homelessness and develops long term independent living skills.

We have voluntary opportunities in advice, admin, peer education, fundraising and befriending.

www.roundabouthomeless.org

ASSIST helps destitute asylum seekers in Sheffield by providing accommodation, food and support to those in most need or distress. We’re a charity and we’re totally reliant on volunteers, grants and the generosity of the people of Sheffield and the surrounding area. We require volunteers who would like to provide face-to-face support to asylum seekers, plus volunteers to support our admin, finance, events and fundraising activities. www.assistsheffield.org.uk

 South Yorkshire Community Foundation aims to improve lives in our communities. We do this through raising funds from businesses, philanthropists, trusts and statutory bodiesand using them to meet the needs oflocal people facing economic hardship and other barriers to aspiration.  Our organisation is always seeking individuals to join our team on a voluntary basis to help up with ongoing project and grants admission. Those include: research and data analysis, including face to face interviews and writing case studies. Furthermore, active volunteers help out with creating and managing our regular events and conferences.  www.sycf.org.uk

Inova Consultancy Ltd is currently involved delivering on a number of UK-based projects covering our interest areas of diversity, mentoring, enterprise, career development and coaching.  More information is available at www.inovaconsult.com

 Sheffield Volunteer Centre  advertise volunteer roles on behalf of third sector organisations, and run an advice service for people interested in volunteering. We match people to roles and advise both individuals and organisations on expectations, new ideas and good practice.  You can look at current voluntary vacancies at www.sheffieldvolunteercentre.org.uk

Volunteering with Hallam Union exists to provide students and staff at Sheffield Hallam University with the opportunity to contribute to the community through a variety of enjoyable community projects in and around Sheffield. There are lots of opportunities to choose from and you can volunteer as much or as little as you like. The staff team are based in the Activities Pod in the HUBS (Student’s Union). You can drop in any time to find out more about the opportunities available. http://hallamunion.org/volunteering/

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I learnt so much in one day!

Sherelle Corbridge, a second year Law student, recently attended an Experience Day at Magic Circle law firm, Clifford Chance.  This is her account of the day:

I am truly grateful and honoured to have been part of Clifford Chance for the day. I had the most incredible day, and it was definitely one of the best experiences I have had. The skills and experience I have come away with are invaluable!

The day started at 9.30am with a Graduate Recruitment Session; this involved a workshop exploring the competencies of Clifford Chance and how we could demonstrate each competency through experiences we already have. This session also introduced us to the application process, assessment days, and interview stages. It was very informative and thorough!

Next, was the Litigation Case Study workshop.  We were split into groups acting as commercial litigation lawyers and negotiating on behalf of our simulated client.

We then proceeded on to the Office Tours, the building is absolutely breath-taking and the facilities Clifford Chance have to offer are exceptional. Later, we had the great opportunity to network over lunch with current trainees and the Graduate Recruitment team – this was my chance to show all my efforts in terms of research and ask questions. I also managed to see a trainee I had spoken to at the Law Fair!

Canary_Wharf_Wide_View_2,_London_-_July_2009

Clifford Chance offices are at Canary Wharf, London

Finally, the day closed with a three hour workshop run by Mr. Luan De Burgh who is an absolute inspiration! The presentation/workshop was based on ‘Impact & Presence’ and the skills I gathered from this session are endless. This was extremely beneficial and potentially the most enjoyable session of the day! He is very, very talented and opened my eyes to what seemed simple, basic skills.

I did not think it was possible to learn so much in one day!

For more information about Clifford Chance open dayshttp://www.cliffordchancegraduates.com/work-experience/open-days/