Mentoring at Bristol – “the most useful and effective opportunity I have engaged with”

Are you looking to build your professional network in the legal sector? Applications are now open for the Professional Mentoring Scheme, open to University of Bristol law students going into year two of the LLB Law and MA in Law. The scheme aims to allow you to gain deeper insights into working in commercial law and build on your network for the future.

2022/23 mentee and current second year law student, Olivia Adamson tells us about the wealth of benefits she gained from matching with a legal mentor.

Law student, Olivia Adamson, wearing a suit and smiling

Why did you apply for the Professional Mentoring Scheme?

I saw the scheme and thought it looked like a great experience to learn about how to get into a legal career as a graduate. I was particularly convinced seeing as I had not (and still have not) decided what I would like to do when I graduate.

How do you feel the scheme allowed you to meet your initial objectives?  

At the start of the scheme I aimed to gain an insight into chambers, work on securing work experience and understand different specialisms. I gained a great insight into chambers and life as a Barrister through shadowing my mentor in the Bristol Crown Court for the entire duration of a case (3 days) and will continue to watch particular cases of interest. I have also since gained a Vacation Scheme, aided by my mentor’s helpful advice. He was incredibly accommodating to any and all of my queries, helping me to exceed any expectations I had of how my academic year would go. I also aimed to gain feedback on my CV and tailor it for applications. He helpfully give detailed feedback to how best achieve this which will be incredibly useful whilst applying for mini-pupillages.

What have you learnt from the scheme?

I have learnt so much. In particular, I have learnt to get involved even when I am not comfortable in the environment. For example, my mentor urged me to apply for the UBLC 2nd year moot competition when I had no prior mooting experience. He provided me with examples, books and advice which supported me all the way to reaching the final! I could not be more grateful for the depth of insight he has provided by supporting my applications, providing me with opportunities and being transparent about career routes.

“The Professional Mentoring Scheme was the most useful and effective extra-curricular opportunity I have engaged with. It has helped shape me as a student and the beginnings of my career development.”

Law student, Olivia Adamson, wearing a white shirt and smiling into the camera.

What will you do differently as a result of being on the scheme?

I will be more active in how I engage with extra-curricular law events outside of the degree. For example, I have gained a position for next year on the Bar Society committee, I plan to engage in National Speed Mooting competitions next academic year and complete national essay competitions such as HRLA.

How would you suggest future mentees make the most of the scheme?

Make the most of opportunities your mentor offers you. Be inquisitive. Ask questions you think may be silly. Take the advice your mentor gives you and ACT upon it!

I would like to thank my mentor- he was an excellent mentor and could not have been more helpful. I would also like to thank the Law School Employability team as the mentor scheme was the most useful and effective extra-curricular opportunity I have engaged with. It has helped shape me as a student and the beginnings of my career development. Thank you.

What would you like to do once you graduate?

I am undecided as to what I would like to do when I graduate. I am interested in tech law, governance and a career as a criminal Barrister. I am hoping to take a year out after university to both gain experience and decide what route to take. Initially I was nervous about not knowing what I would like to do, especially being at Law School where it seems other students have their careers planned already. But my mentor helped reassure me that it is perfectly okay to be unsure and continue to change my mind.

Application details

Applications are invited from LLB and MA students going in to their second year in 2023/24 academic year. See our Professional Mentoring Scheme webpage for more details on how to apply. The deadline for submissions is 5pm BST on Monday 24 July.

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