As we see this year’s Legal Week come to a close, we look back on what went on at King’s College London. Legal practitioners from Duncan Lewis were invited to discuss their experiences as professionals in the legal sector at the largest legal aid firm in the UK.
King’s College London hosts Legal Week annually, as a way for current undergraduates, postgraduates and alumni to get a taste of what is going on in the legal industry from the professionals. Barristers, solicitors and recruiters all attended the numerous events they held throughout the week. A number of our own specialists joined to talk at some of the key benefits and challenges of working in law.
On day one of legal week, Kawther Al-Aaraji and Krishma Bathia, of our private immigration team based in Harrow, both attended King’s College London ready to begin the week with some informative discussions on working in immigration law.
Addressing a room of students, Kawther and Krishma gave their talk ‘A Brief Overview into Immigration’ covering general immigration law and the effects of Brexit. The topics covered included immigration rules, asylum and British nationality. Together, they gave an in-depth explanation into the different tiers of the points-based system, as well as an insight into the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016.
Following the masterclass, Krishma and Kawther held a Q&A with the students, using their legal know-how to answer numerous questions and give insightful feedback.
The talk was a huge success with students reacting positively with one describing the presentation as ‘…very stimulating.”
After such a positive response, Krishma and Kawther will be looking to host more presentations in the future, further continuing Duncan Lewis’ commitment to encouraging young people from all walks of life to enter the legal profession.
On Wednesday, Manjinder Kaur Atwal and Saniya Taqi arrived at King’s College London, ready to speak at the ‘Careers in the Law of Everyday Life’ talk where Manjinder discussed her experience of working as a housing and property litigation solicitor and director at the largest legal aid practice in the UK, alongside speakers from Creighton & Partners, Just for Kids Law and Garden Court Chambers.
Those that attended the talk were undergraduates of every discipline, as well as postgrads and alumni. Manjinder wanted to make it clear that you don’t have to have completed a degree in law to be able to become a solicitor, and that she herself has a degree in IT. It was only after she completed her degree that she did the conversion year taking the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL), then completed work experience in a law firm before being taken on as a paralegal. It was there that she was offered her training contract whilst she completed her Legal Practice Course (LPC). Whilst she recognised that there are many ways for people to gain their qualification to become a solicitor, she worked whilst completing her LPC part-time, which also gave her the chance to build up a strong network within the legal world.
Many of the questions put to Manjinder and Saniya were how legal aid or private law was different to corporate law, and whether the former enabled more face-to-face interactions with clients. In response, Manjinder referred to her own experience; when completing her training contract, it was her seat in housing law that made her realise that being able to help people and support them in their time of need was the kind of legal work she wanted to make a career out of.
Saniya is pleased to have been part of such an integral event for those considering joining the legal profession. She states:
“I was able to share my enthusiasm and experience as a trainee solicitor at Duncan Lewis with law and non-law students at Kings College University. It was a great way to give them an insight to the life of a trainee solicitor.”
When asked whether much support was available to trainees at law firms, both were able to say that their first-hand experiences have been positive. Whilst supervision and having the experience of more senior legal professionals is an essential part of the training process, both Manjinder and Saniya are glad to have been given the opportunity to conduct independent research and work on their own caseloads, to give them the confidence to succeed.
Duncan Lewis would like to thank King’s College London and the organisers of Legal Week for inviting us along to support the next generation of legal professionals taking their first steps towards a career in law.
For anyone wanting to learn more about the opportunities we have here at Duncan Lewis, check out our careers page where you can see our latest vacancies and the numerous positions that may suit you.