Blog Post
November 21, 2015

Student review of legal workshop by Mitica Matthews

BFUWI and Coventry Univeristy legal workshop 14 November 2015

On the 14th of November, I attended the ‘Careers in Law: Global Options, Local Opportunities’ Legal Workshop organised by Coventry University Law School in collaboration with the British Foundation for the University of the West Indies (BFUWI). The purpose of this student focused legal workshop, was to enhance participants’ knowledge of the legal profession, including the various positions and routes available to qualify; and to educate participants on the different sectors of the legal profession available to pursue both nationally and internationally.

Having attended numerous legal fairs, events and workshops throughout my undergraduate degree, none of them were as beneficial, or could compare to this. Each speaker presented with passion and I found every single panel discussion to be a very educational experience. I was particularly impressed with the wealth of talent from diverse sectors that attended the workshop.

As a final year LLB Law student who harbours firmly rooted aspirations to pursue a career at the Bar, I found the Skills and Qualifications panel discussion particularly enlightening. I appreciated the high level of honesty and emphasis, on the intensity of competition that the legal profession currently faces; nothing was sugar coated. More specifically, I was astonished to learn that there are currently 132,864 (employed) Solicitors in comparison to 15,600 (self-employed & employed) Barristers. Suzanne Reece, Panellist spoke about her experience of reviewing pupillage applications, and thus was able to offer fantastic practical advice about making your application stand out. Given the ‘chronic shortage of pupillages' at the Bar, this panel discussion particularly resonated with me, as it is important that my applications are distinctive. Furthermore, the discussion increased my motivation to try and achieve the best classification results possible.

Perhaps my favourite panel discussion was ‘Life in Private Practice’.  This is due to the fact that I was very much so inspired and fascinated to learn about their distinguishable journeys into the profession and their experiences in practice to date. For example, I really enjoyed the presentation by Richard Wilson QC, as he gave practical advice on both written and oral communication; some of which was useful for both mooting and academics. The presentation by Dawn Brathwaite, Partner at Mills & Reeve used her firm as a case study and this proved particularly useful for insight into the application process.

Overall, the immensely talented professionals led a thought-provoking and compelling session. I especially enjoyed the discussion concerning both the current and future challenges faced by the legal profession and welcomed the literature recommended for further analysis on the topic. The guest speakers were extremely enthusiastic and it was clear that each of the panellists came with the intention of being both helpful and informative. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, we were not afforded the opportunity to network with the guest speakers at the workshop. However, we were invited to obtain their contact details to network with them at a later date via email or social media. Since the event, I have made contact with numerous guest speakers and they have proven to be as sincere and down-to-earth as they were at the event.


Mitica Matthews 

Final year Law Student, Birmingham City University

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