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Queen Mary Law Society: everything you need to know

We chatted with Gabriela Suarez, a final year Law LLB student and Vice President of the Queen Mary Law Society, about how being in the society has changed her time at university.

So, tell us a bit about the Law Society. What’s it for, and who can join?

Queen Mary Law Society (QMLS), with 400 members, serves to represent all students seeking a career in the legal sector; law students and non-law students alike. Throughout the year, the society offers events, opportunities, and access points for students at any academic level to gain exposure to all possible legal careers – from working for a Commercial firm in the City, to being part of an in-house legal team.

On an academic front, QMLS is responsible for the publication of its own annual law review; an entirely student-run publication. Additionally, QMLS organises various social events throughout the year, such as networking dinners, workshops and the annual law ball, and is also looking to set up its own football tournament. We are determined to deliver quality events for all our members—whether aspiring solicitors, barristers, or those pursuing an alternative career in law, while promoting diversity and inclusion.

What made you want to join?

As soon as I started my first year at Queen Mary, I began to attend law careers events in order to help figure out what I wanted to do. As I attended more and more events and learnt more and more about the sector I was hoping to go into, I realised the importance of events such as these. Furthermore, I began to learn that advice offered by students, and events organised by students, were the most valuable.

I knew very quickly that I wanted to help provide the best university experience I could to students, while helping them find what they wanted to do afterwards, and how they would get there. The Law Society allows me to work with my friends and other likeminded students to help other students find their way while having fun during their degree.

Is there anything you’re particularly excited about?

I am very excited for the plans we have coming up this year. Not only will the Law Ball be returning, but we will also be organising a Boat Ball in the first semester.  We’re hoping to organise more law firm networking dinners, which have become very popular as they provide an intimate and unique networking experience. With the opportunity to set up a new committee, we are excited to work with new people on fresh projects such as the football team. With the setup of the new Inter Law Societies’ Council, we hope to organise some great joint events with other law related societies.

Employers want to hire well-rounded individuals – people who have interests outside of their degree – and societies can be a great way to showcase this

What’s been your best experience?

My favourite memory of the society so far has come from the excitement of planning what’s coming this year. We hope to build on what has been passed on to us, with the goal of creating a sustainable and exciting society.

How has the Law Society helped you? Is it actually helping your future career?

Working within the Law Society is a varied and exciting experience. It has built further on many of my transferrable skills, such as my leadership, teamwork and organisational skills. However, I believe it has been my interpersonal skills that have developed the most. This includes the ability to compromise and be diplomatic. Working with friends or strangers in a different capacity such as this really forces you to communicate clearly, as well as adapt to those who communicate differently to you. Plus, as we work with other students, graduate recruitment and lawyers, our communication skills grow as we communicate in a variety of environments.

Finally, what would you say to someone who’s thinking of joining? What’s the real benefit of being a Law Society member?

There are many benefits to joining a society! Firstly it’s a great way to get to know people and make friends, especially as a first year. Secondly, it can sometimes be difficult to get work experience, so societies provide the perfect opportunity to build on your transferrable skills. Employers want to hire well-rounded individuals – people who have interests outside of their degree – and societies can be a great way to showcase this. All these benefits apply to those in society committees and those who are just members. The more involved you are, the more you’ll take away from the experience. Being a member lets you try out different societies to find what you enjoy.