Taking the Law into Your Own Hands

One of our Year 11 students writes about his experience of researching and taking up a placement during lockdown:

Over the recent half term I completed a virtual work-experience placement with international law firm Osborne Clarke.  I was browsing work experience after school one day and found the placement – it was free, easy, and above all something to break the tedium of lockdown!  The placement was aimed at students from Years 11-13 and the application needed GCSE grades (I used my working-at grades from Year 10) and a covering letter.  Aside from the experience itself, the application was a great opportunity to hone my personal statement skills.

The placement was coordinated through several Microsoft Teams meetings and included presentations by current lawyers at the firm.  Topics included routes to becoming a solicitor which now includes an apprenticeship route for those who don’t want to do a university degree.  The traditional route into the legal profession is a bachelor’s degree (a BA or LLB), followed by a vocational course (the BVC or SQE) and a period of training (a training contract or, for barristers, pupillage).  The placement helped me understand these complex career pathways.

In the afternoon we split into smaller ‘Breakout Rooms’ and completed a PESTLE analysis of a company.  This examined the political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental factors that might affect a commercial situation.  For anyone studying History, English, Geography or Economics I would recommend placements like these as you get to see real-world applications of the analytical skills you learn in these lessons.  Even if you are not sure if you want to be a lawyer, evidence that you have these skills is invaluable to universities and employers.  If you want to be a lawyer, getting experience like this is essential.  This placement certainly won’t be my last.

If you are interested in becoming a lawyer, email Mrs McLarnon to be added to the ‘Lawyers’ group on Teams.  An opportunity to speak to a City lawyer is currently being arranged here.

Laurence, Year 11