Students are doing it for themselves (and for others)
Teams of qLegal students recently reported their findings at the end of a new networking programme piloted by qLegal this year
Teams of qLegal students recently reported their findings at the end of a new programme piloted by qLegal this year: Future Clients and Collaborators. The programme was initially developed in recognition of the need for lawyers to be comfortable with networking and developing client relationships. Rather than qLegal staff finding opportunities for next year’s students, we thought we’d let this year’s students take on this task.
The aim of the programme was threefold: to give the programme’s twelve selected students an opportunity to develop their networking and business development skills in a practical way; to uncover potential leads that could be followed up for future collaborations between qLegal and other faculties across Queen Mary; and generally to raise awareness of qLegal and what its students can do.
Having received training on how to make new connections, the Future Clients students split into three teams, each team allocated to one of Queen Mary’s faculties: Humanities and Social Science; Medicine and Dentistry; and Science and Engineering. The students used a range of techniques, from email and social media campaigns to online surveys and face-to face meetings to reach out to students and staff from across the disciplines, explaining what qLegal offers and finding areas of common interest.
The qLegal students showed resilience and adaptability as not all their efforts to establish contact bore fruit. To add to the challenge, the programme ran within a tight 3-month window, spanning the Christmas vacation. Nonetheless, each team uncovered leads and areas for collaboration.
In presenting their written reports, the Future Clients students made recommendations for the development of inter-disciplinary projects and student-led knowledge exchange activities, recognising that students gain so much by teaching and learning from each other. They also reflected on their experience on the programme. The overriding messages were that they had gained confidence and insights from the experience but would have liked the programme to have run for longer so they could have developed relationships further - helpful insights for the qLegal team to take on board.