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School of Law

Olivia, Legal Advice Centre

 Olivia, Legal Advice Centre

I have been involved in a variety of activities throughout my time at university, all of which have helped me develop different skills. The Law School works closely with Pathways to Law which aims to support younger students interested in a legal career. I have been involved with Pathways as a mentor for A-Level students and have taken part in the annual residential at Warwick university. I have also acted as a mentor to first year law students through the Law School’s buddy scheme, and have my own mentor who has supported me since my first year. The university has many links with charities, which led me to become involved with Into University and act as a mentor to a GCSE student in the local community during my first year. Queen Mary provides the opportunity for students to learn languages alongside their degree, and since starting university I have taken weekly Mandarin lessons funded through a scholarship. There are many societies for students to get involved with and during my second year I was Head of Events of the Commercial Awareness Society. I instigated fortnightly meetings to discuss law firms’ practice areas, sector trends, and the opportunities and challenges facing both. I also set up events with the society’s partners and sponsors, which helped develop my commercial awareness and provided excellent networking opportunities.

I have been lucky enough to be involved with the Queen Mary Legal Advice Centre as a member of the support team throughout my time at university, helping to provide administrative assistance to the centre. In my first year, I completed tasks such as running reception during appointment evenings and handling client files. My responsibilities increased during my second and third years, where I have had a greater exposure to working with clients and am responsible for answering client enquiries and discussing case details. In my second year, I also acted as a student advisor, preparing two letters of preliminary legal advice on company law issues which were sent to the clients. This experience has allowed me to develop my research and drafting skills which I have used during various work placements. It has also provided an opportunity to transfer the knowledge I have gained during my degree into practical advice which supports the community.

Alongside the university’s commitment to academic achievement, Queen Mary encourages students to gain work experience. The Pro Bono Society provides a variety of work placements throughout the year and international placements which run during the summer. I secured one of their placements in my first year, allowing me to undertake one month’s work experience in a legal clinic. The university’s close relationship with law firms provides a variety of opportunities for students to get involved with. In my second year, I was one of five Queen Mary students successful in obtaining one week’s work experience with Weightmans, where I took notes during client meetings and researched and drafted a letter of advice on a company law issue. The Law Careers Department and law societies both set up open days and networking events with different law firms which has helped me develop my networking skills. The Law Careers Department also supported me by reviewing my applications to law firms. All of the support I have received has been instrumental in helping me obtain two first year open days at law firms and, in my second year, two vacation schemes, one of which resulted in me obtaining a training contract. During the vacation schemes, I researched clients’ questions and changes to legislation, and organised and updated documents that recorded clients’ correspondence. Obtaining this experience would not have been possible without the support and help I have received from the university, as well as the variety of extracurricular events I have been able to take part in.

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