Wiltshire students grill experts about life in the law

More than 150 pupils aged 16 – 19 from Cirencester College and Highworth Warneford School came together to hear industry experts discuss the opportunities and challenges that a career in law can present.

The event at Cirencester College was hosted by Gloucester & Wiltshire incorporated Law Society (GWILS), the voice of legal professionals – including solicitors, trainees, paralegals, legal secretaries and legal executives – in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.

Lawyers and barristers from organisations including Thrings, Novum Law and Pump Court Chambers spoke about their professional experiences, shared training and career advice, and outlined what it takes to succeed in law.

The hosts also carried out mock interviews to demonstrate to the students how they could be put through their paces in interviews as well as taking part in a Question Time-type debate.

Among the legal professionals at the event was Thrings partner and GWILS president Ramona Derbyshire, who highlighted how students need to prepare themselves when applying for legal roles and explained what she looks for in prospective trainee solicitors.

Pump Court Chambers barrister Jason Nickless spoke about the differing roles of solicitors and barristers, and Jessica Davidson, a ‎trainee solicitor at Swindon pharmaceutical company Patheon, compared her experiences of working in-house and in private practice.

Elsewhere, Tara Connor of Thrings provided some insight into her role as a family solicitor, and Novum Law’s Victoria Stanley explained the route she had taken in order to break into the legal profession. GWILS committee member and former Cirencester College student Scott Robins also spoke about some of the hurdles he had had to overcome in order to secure a training contract at Thrings.

Scott, who also organised the event, said: “It was a pleasure to return to Cirencester College and have the opportunity to share insight into the legal profession with the students and advise them on what they could be doing now if they are considering a career in law. It is essential that the local law society provides training to junior people in Gloucester and Wiltshire at an early stage of their studies, and provides as much support as possible.”

Daniel Nield, course team leader for law at Cirencester College said: “The day was a complete success and GWILS and Thrings went to great lengths to engage and excite the students about law.

“It was also a fantastic opportunity for the students to participate in the event and have the chance to network with legal professions. Everyone at the college is very pleased with the event which has hopefully set many students up to pursue law as a profession.”

Julia Martin, careers & work related learning co-ordinator at Highworth Warneford School, added: “I thought it was a great series of presentations and extremely informative for any of the students who are considering going into the legal profession.”

For more information about training events held by GWILS, please contact Scott Robins at srobins@thrings.com.

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