Need help deciding which area of law to pursue, but don’t know where to start? Applications are now open for the Law School Professional Mentoring Scheme, offering LLB and MA law students going in to their second year, the chance to be matched with a legal professional in a wide variety of practice areas. The scheme aims to allow you to gain deeper insights into working in commercial law, and build on your networks for the future. Law student and mentee from the 2021-22 scheme, Alexandra Zanenga outlines why she joined the scheme, how it influenced her career planning and the support it can provide. See our Professional Mentoring Scheme webpage for more details on how to apply.
What inspired you to sign up to the Professional Mentoring Scheme?
I was at the point in my law degree where I was beginning to think more seriously about my future and explore what areas of law interested me. Although there is an abundance of information and resources available online to aid students with this, it is difficult to gain an accurate picture of what being a lawyer entails in practice and how to go about pursuing a career in the legal sector. I applied for the mentorship scheme to gain some insight into a department I was unfamiliar with at the time but wanted to learn more about (Projects), and to connect and speak with someone who has potentially gone through some of the same experiences/struggles as I have as a student but ultimately been successful in the legal sector.
How was your experience on the scheme and how do you feel your mentor supported you?
My experience on the scheme was great! I was lucky enough to have been paired with a mentor who works at a firm in Bristol, so I was able to meet them in person and see the office.
“My mentor was incredibly supportive, offering both general advice on how to go about pursuing a career in law, and tailored feedback on how to best improve my competencies and stand out when applying to law firms.”
Despite his busy schedule, he would always make time to meet with me and talk through any questions I had.
Overall, I am incredibly grateful to have had this experience, as I feel more prepared going into the legal sector and pursuing a career as a lawyer.
Which area of law are you hoping to pursue and how did this experience influence this decision?
As of now, I am hoping to either go into Projects (the area of law that my mentor works in), or Corporate Finance, but I am keeping a very open mind. Going into the mentorship scheme I was curious to know more about Projects, as I learned that lawyers in this department work on large renewable deals and the energy sector has always been of interest to me. After meeting with my mentor and getting glimpses into the type of work he does, deals he has completed, and what his day-to-day life looks like as a Projects solicitor, my interest in this area has only amplified and I hope to be able to explore it further in the future.
Why do you think students should apply for the scheme?
I believe that being able to speak to a professional who works in the area of law you are hoping to pursue is an invaluable experience which will give you insight into what you can realistically expect for your future.
“It is really helpful to hear about someone else’s experiences going into law and understand what you can do now to make yourself a better candidate in the future.”
Also, you have the opportunity to ask as many questions as you can, which comes in handy when the application period starts!
Applications are invited from LLB and MA students going in to their second year in 2022-23 academic year. See our Professional Mentoring Scheme webpage for more details on how to apply. The deadline for submissions is Friday 5 August at 5pm.