Learning the Law

Grads Corner
07 December 2015 | Grads Corner | Guest Author

ben-marsdenIn 2014, over 23,000 students accepted positions on law related courses at universities across the United Kingdom according to UCAS data.

The field has seen a steady growth – almost 25% in the last seven years - of students going into higher education to pursue a career in the legal profession.

So what makes it so attractive? As a former law graduate at the University of Nottingham, it is vitally important that people like myself share our experiences.

I always wanted to work with people and combine that with a challenging career. The more I learned about the legal system and how difficult it is to become a solicitor, the more I wanted to be involved in the legal profession and become a solicitor myself.

My route saw me leave Nottingham and travel up to York studying with the College of Law, before being lucky enough to secure a training contract last year. But these post-university steps provide a real test of commitment and character.

During the Legal Practice Course and Training Contract there was more mixed content than the degree and these post-graduate courses included more skills-based learning.

The most difficult element of the training as a whole is managing your time around deadlines and balance studies with work commitments. Aside from the actual content of these courses, I think that particular skill of balancing a range of competing tasks has been very useful preparation. Honestly though, you learn most from the actual job itself and the colleagues who you work with.

For those looking for their next steps or for those who perhaps may be considering a career diversion into the industry, my advice is to always think one step ahead.

Get as much work experience as possible in whatever legal work you can, from placements in law firms to working at your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

It’s a long road to qualification so it’s important that you are sure you know as much as you can about the profession from the very start – there are plenty of people I studied with who haven’t continued into the profession for one reason or another.

Plus, I think the skills you pick up from experience like that will serve you in good stead and make you much more employable in the end.

I hope to continue to learn as much as I can from the colleagues I am lucky enough to work with and, taking that on board, deal with progressively more complex cases.

Since starting work in law I have been very fortunate with all of the people I have worked with who have taught me such a lot and been a big influence, particularly Vicky Richardson and Jane Woodcock at our Hull office.

And aside from the aforementioned skills I have referenced already, one other key skill all aspiring solicitors need is excellent communication to succeed in this industry.

Ben Marsden is Assistant Solicitor at Hudgell Solicitors. To contact Ben, connect with him on LinkedIn! To find out more about Hudgell Solicitors, click here.

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