“Having access to real and varied examples of different career paths in law is a great chance to discover what can be achieved and is on offer.”
- Name: Lauren Broadbent
- Job title: Legal Counsel
- Organisation: BNP Paribas
What activity did you participate in?
I participated in the ‘Pathways into Law’ webinar, hosted by Inspiring the Future, part of the London Careers Festival. The event was held online and broadcast to over 8 different secondary schools across London and reached over 400 young people. I was joined by other volunteer speakers including from Netflix, Bank of America and two Government departments.
Why did you decide to take part in the activity?
The webinar offered a great opportunity to provide an insight into the different routes that can be taken as part of a legal career, and to showcase that it is not always just the traditional court route that is shown on TV! It was also something I would very much have liked to have the opportunity to join when I was in secondary education.
How did you get involved?
An email was sent around our department seeking volunteers, which I replied to and was put in touch with the team organising the London Careers festival who then coordinated the organisation of the event. It was very easy!
The Bank I work for also actively encourage employees to get involved in events such as these, and we’re able to take up to 2 days per year towards corporate social responsibility opportunities.
How did you prepare?
Each volunteer was asked to put together 3-4 slides, detailing their pathway into their legal career, what their current role entails and what other opportunities there are in law. Once those were prepared, I pulled together some speakers notes. We also had a technical test for the software ahead of the event, and were asked to join the webinar early on the day of the event so that the organisers could check everyone was connected to ensure a smooth run through.
Take us through the day and activity:
The webinar itself was an hour and a half long. Inspiring the Future started with an introduction and then each volunteer had around 10 minutes to talk through their presentation with some time for questions at the end – there were 5 volunteers in total from a variety of different institutions and areas of law. Inspiring the Future coordinated the questions which students were able to submit via a “chat” function in the webinar software.
What was the best part about the activity for you?
The opportunity to provide information to secondary education age pupils on the routes into a legal career and what it entails, as I think this information is hard to obtain otherwise at that age, when students are likely deciding on GCSE and A Level choices and whether they want to pursue a career in the sector. Having access to real and varied examples of different career paths in law is a great chance to discover what can be achieved and is on offer.
What was the strangest/funniest/best question you were asked?
Questions around salary are always interesting to answer (if not unexpected!) – I think myself and the other volunteers were able to field that in a way that shows that the remuneration can vary, dependant on the industry you work in, and that the salary is only part of the reward of the job!
What is a key piece of advice you gave?
To get involved in as much as you can – seek any opportunity to flesh out your CV with work or other practical experience, for example:
- attending court hearings in the public gallery;
- trying to get an internship at a law firm;
- joining law society’s at law school; and
- getting involved in events that they hold, seeking out pro bono opportunities etc.
What impact do you think you’ve made on the lives of young people you spoke with?
Hopefully myself and the other volunteers gave the students an insight into many of the different opportunities that working in law can bring – whether that is secondments to clients, foreign working opportunities and eventually a move in-house to a business rather than working in a law firm.
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