So I want to talk about the Law.As someone who has been through the process of university and law school, I know how hard and confusing it can be. What area of law? What type of firm? What else can I do? Will I have a work/life balance? How rich will I be?!
Coming out of school with decent GCSEs, I was told that I was good at arguing and that I would make a good lawyer. I found it funny at first, having been told that for a long time. I never really considered anything else, so I took the plunge and decided that a career in law was what I would set my sights on. But at the age of 16, I imagined the legal profession to be very different to the world I now find myself in. Do I dare say I would have picked a different career path had I known where it was heading?
What isn’t explained to young students who are interested in the law is just how vast a subject it is. You forget that every aspect of our lives is governed by some form of law or regulation. I’ll be honest, and I’m sure a lot of young people and people who have already started the journey will agree: I was drawn in by the money. You see tables of the best paid jobs and solicitors are up there with the best of them.
What the tables don’t tell you is that without top grades from a top university, you find yourself amongst thousands and thousands of people in the same boat. Every single one of them looking for the same thing – a training contract at a top commercial firm. It was the reason I went to law school, the reason all of my applications initially went to big London firms with multi-national footprints.
In reality, I feel that it all worked out well for me. All it took for me was a change in focus, away from the commercial/corporate world and into a new world of law. I now work in a small sized firm outside of London and I really enjoy my job. But had you told me 5-6 years ago that I would be doing Residential Conveyancing earning considerably less than the £60k a year my classmates are now earning, would I have continued?
I think the answer for me would probably have been yes. It means I am not working crazy hours and I can be with my partner every evening for meals, even if I do come home an hour or so late every now and then. And I am lucky enough to be able to say that I love my job! I love interacting with clients all day and making a difference to their lives.
But thousands upon thousands of kids each year start a law degree without a single thought of their end goal. Without considering how hard they’ll need to work, without getting any work experience in, without knowing for definite where they’re headed.
I started this journal as a way to give my perspective on legal education and I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Whether you are a student considering a legal career, a student in the process or someone who like me has gone the course and come out the other end, please do let me know your thoughts and what questions you’d like answered.