Virtual Open Day

Law students boost job prospects with high-profile industry speakers

A JUDGE, solicitors, and the Crown Prosecution Service were among a host of high-profile speakers to meet with aspiring lawyers from the University of Chichester as they prepare for a future in one of the UK’s most demanding professions.

A number of guest lectures have been held both virtually and face-to-face since the start of November for students on the LLB (Hons) Law degree, which has become one of the University’s most successful courses since launching in 2018.

Employability was high on the agenda during the lectures, while each session was tailored to the aspirations of the undergraduates to get them ready to start their careers after graduating.

Student Morgan Harris said: "Thank you to the University inviting so many interesting and inspiring guest speakers in over the past few weeks. They were incredibly informative and I’m grateful for everything they shared with us.”

The University's three-year LLB Law degree covers seven core areas which prepare students for the Solicitors' Qualifying Examination, including Public, Criminal, Tort, Contract, Land, and EU law, alongside Equity and Trust. Teaching is boosted by regular guest speakers who talk about building a career in the highly sort-after profession.

Law students boost job prospects with high-profile industry speakers

One of the recent sessions was led by Judge Peter Glover, who spoke about his role as a district judge and explained how he went from private legal practice into the Judiciary. He discussed the varieties of judges and work they do, while sharing anecdotes on defending an attempted murderer as a solicitor, and his novel approach to dealing with child custody and contact issues as a judge.

Speakers from law firm Irwin Mitchell revealed in depth their roles as legal professionals. Partner and head of engineering and construction Mark Clinton spoke about how solicitors support clients in bringing a Tort Dispute, giving students an insight into the cases they might deal with.

Senior associate solicitor Jason Newall, in the regulatory and criminal investigations team, took the students through defending a client in a domestic violence case study, where he explained the role of the duty solicitor and applying for bail.

Student Elisa Green said: “The events were simply brilliant: very interesting and insightful and all different in their own light. The Mark Clinton talk was really eye-opening. He spoke of the step-by-step process of a case from start to finish. An out of the ordinary guest speaker event in the best way possible - very interactive and especially informative as to the real world of the life of a solicitor.”

The students were also invited to the University’s first virtual EmployMe event, which included legal professionals and employers from the Crown Prosecution Service, Pump Court Chambers, Portsmouth City Council Legal Department and the Citizen’s Advice. They spoke to students about work placement opportunities, vacation schemes, scholarships and funded training, as well as explaining the various different routes to, and roles within, the Legal Sector.

Undergraduate Elisa added: “The Irwin Mitchell team ensured we got a glance of the true values of the firm and guided us to the best way in which to apply for a vacation scheme/training contract. This re-affirmed my choice in making an application. This careers event as a whole really interesting and fun to attend but most importantly extremely insightful.”

With training contract applications open for 2023, the University’s Lizi Mutter, undertaking her training contract with the in-house legal department and also at Irwin Mitchell, highlighted how student can make their applications stand out when applying.

Finally, in anticipation of the University’s new Law with Criminology degree, starting September 2021, students heard from Sussex Constabulary. With graduate entry programmes available, including fast-track programmes to becoming a detective, the students heard about police powers and how they are balanced against protecting civil liberties.

For more about the University of Chichester’s LLB (Hons) Law degree go to www.chi.ac.uk/humanities/undergraduate/llb-law.