The subject of this week’s interview is law student, Ben Hughes.
Ben is in the second year of his LLB degree and hopes to train with a medium or large corporate/commercial firm.
He talks about the importance of work experience, amongst other things.
1. Why did you decide to study law? When did you make the decision?
I’ve always been interested in law-related programmes on the TV and we have a couple of family friends who are solicitors who seem to have interesting jobs. It wasn’t really until I needed to choose my A-level subjects that I looked into the realities of the legal profession. I got a bit of work experience and realised it was different from what I’d seen on TV. I became interested in the more business-related side of the law.
2. At what stage of your legal education are you? What course(s) are you currently doing and which have you already completed?
I’m in my second year at Leeds University. I’m doing a straight LLB degree and so far have done the usual introductory subjects such as contract, tort, criminal, public and constitutional law, property and european.
3. What academic grades have you achieved from A-Levels to date?
I got AAB at A-level and got the equivalent of a 2:1 in my first year uni exams and coursework.
4. What sort of career, and work, do you intend to pursue after your studies?
I would like to work for a medium to large sized commercial firm doing some firm of corporate or commercial work. I’m not sure yet whether to try for magic circle firms in London or whether to work in a regional city instead. I am planning to do a few work placements to help me decide.
5. How are you funding your legal studies? Do you think you will be in debt at the end of them?
I’m lucky that my parents are funding my legal studies for me. I work in my holidays to help with my living expenses.
6. Have you had any work experience within the legal profession? If so, what?
Only a bit of work shadowing with a friend of the family in a regional commercial firm. It really helped me get a proper feel for what a law firm is like as opposed to what you see on the TV or the stereotypes that exist.
7. What’s the best thing and the worst thing about studying law?
The best thing is the intellectual challenge as it’s a fairly intense course to study. The worst thing is that we generally have more lectures and essays than many other courses.
8. What advice would you give to someone considering studying to become a lawyer?
Definitely get some work experience/placements are some stage to help you decide on which subjects to choose. Also, make sure you research which university to go to as some are better than others and have better reputations. Finally, be prepared to work hard as it’s definitely not an easy option.
9. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Just make sure you know what a law degree entails as there are some people on my course who hate it and are struggling but they seem to have chosen to study law because they couldn’t think of what else to do.
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