4 Key Tips from your Postgraduate Representative.

Commercial law

As a non-lawyer, who wants to go into the commercial bar, mini-pupillages are almost impossible to find which don’t require one to have begun the GDL. To circumvent this lack of experience, I’ve been jumping head first into Solicitors Vacation Scheme applications, and every other event the Warwick Law Society has had to offer. The best for anyone thinking of the years ahead would be the Aspiring Solicitors competition, where through the hard work of Stefny Mary and Vera Cai, we’re now into the quarter finals. The amount of exposure to LawTech the competition has given us has been exceptional. I’ve been fortunate enough to be offered coding courses within my masters, which has meant I can claim more than just a superficial knowledge of what will be a game-changing transformation of the legal process in the years to come.

 

Tip 1 if you’re not a lawyer: take a coding course. (See Richard Susskind, Professor of Law, Oxford University)

 

Academic

As the concept of ‘behavioural insights’ has seeped into almost every private or public sector imaginable, one of the last redoubts has been Law. Ironically, considering litigation’s focus on wayward commercial behaviour, it still seems taken as granted that both clients and judges act rationally, even whilst the body regulating Solicitors (the Solicitors Regulatory Authority) have now adopted Behavioural Science practices to transform the legal industry. One way I’ve been trying to answer the question ‘Why Behavioural Economics’ is through looking at Prison sentencing reform and the digitisation of Small Claims Courts. It looks like the concept of ‘strict’ and ‘lenient’ judges might well be true, even whilst Sentencing Guidelines, and judicial training courses have attempted to control for such variability. Additionally, the attempt to remove the need for solicitors, judges, and court rooms from basic civil proceedings is causing a revolution in the way individuals interact with the judicial system. Much work is still being done by the Ministry of Justice on how to simplify and guide individuals without a background in Law…. or A levels, through the new process. These two areas will be likely what you will find me doing hunched over my laptop in mid-August on campus.

 

Tip 2: Find any link to what you’ve studied and see how far you can cram it into law: you’d be surprised.

 

Vacation schemes

Being at the same age where someone following the usual Law career path would be qualifying as an Associate, I’ve been aiming my vacation scheme applications at the boutique American law firms without established training contracts. The responsibility, pay and early specialism within such firms mean that from almost day one is acting as an Associate. I’ve focused my applications on International arbitration/litigation-dominant firms (which would still provide the opportunity to appear in court if Pupillage fails to materialise). The Vacation scheme applications were therefore aimed at: Gibson Dunn, Vinson & Elkins, Covington, Skadden, and Debevoise Plimpton, all of whom are ranked in the top 10 in this area.

 

Tip 3: For those not interested in these areas, decide:

  • Your preferred area of law,
  • Level of early responsibility/pressure
  • How long to stay in the office (a lower hours mean lower salary)
  • How important training is to you.

 

There doesn’t appear to be any right answer to those questions, and it would be impossible to find a firm which could give you the most of all 4, but, It suddenly becomes a lot simpler writing multiple applications when you can see what differentiates the 5% of all say, large, transaction-focused Britain-centric solicitors firms have from the rest of the market, and only applying to those.

 

Barrister training

One must acknowledge that grades matter most for the Bar, which one must fit in alongside the the debating and mooting competitions you will have won by the time you apply for pupillage deadline in January. Even for the Commercial Bar, a degree of engagement with current political and social issues is expected to stand apart from the other identically excellent applicants. The greater freedom a Masters provides has led to time for me spent on assistant roles with Law professors and human rights firms in London. As a potential advocate, self-confidence are two assumed traits, which I would highly recommend using now:

 

Tip 4: If you see a legal opportunity which you’re:

  1. vastly under-qualified for, or
  2. Doubt anyone of a similar background will be there

Then that is the best place to build contacts. If that feels you with dread, the Commercial Solicitors route is a very rewarding option.

 

By Joe Kelen, Warwick Law Society Postgraduate Representative

Life as a First Year Rep and the importance of Getting Involved.

First term has just finished and, since being elected the First Year Representative of the Law society, I already class myself as privileged to be a part of a team of some of the most driven and hardworking individuals you will ever meet. The Warwick Law society has proved to be an essential part of the fresher’s student experience; It is no surprise due to the dedication of each member in the team working to offer the very best experiences and opportunities for students.

Getting involved in an aspect of a society that you are passionate about is a great way to meet a range of different people whilst doing something you really love. So, I was excited when I saw that there were trials for the Law Society football team. Personally, I would compare my footballing abilities to the likes of David Beckham, with a hint of Cristiano Ronaldo. OK-that was a complete and utter lie and I should really stop flattering myself. After a tiring trial, I was notified shortly after and happy to be told that I had made the team.

My time so far with the football team has been nothing short of amazing. Whilst I was quite nervous at first being a one of the few fresher’s entering the team, my nerves were immediately gone due to the inclusive nature of the squad in turn creating a friendly and lively environment. We ended the term on a high beating the History society 3-1, where I was awarded Man of the Match by our captain Sam Calvert. Our football games on a Sunday are now certainly always the highlight of my week (Only when we win of course) and I’m looking forward to the all the upcoming socials with the boys.

So, I would urge all fresher’s to get out there and participate in all aspects of a society. Whether that is joining the Football or Netball team, the scope in meeting a variety of amazing individuals is endless.

Whilst there have been some brilliant socials, I have found that the career opportunities offered by the society are simply unmatched. The wonderful work by Alex and Joe allowed a number of enlightening events to be run such as the Meet the First-Year schemers, The Annual Careers Dinner and the London Open Day.

The London open day was undoubtedly the highlight for me. In the space of a day, I had the chance to gain an insight into not only one city law firm, but two-Slaughter and May and Norton Rose Fulbright. I had the chance to network with representatives from each firm as well as engage in business presentations and skills workshops. I had also received tips for future applications which further contributed to an invaluable day.

Overall, I have so far truly enjoyed my role as The First Year Representative of the Law society. I’ve found to really appreciate the aims and values of the society, which is ultimately providing the awareness and help required for students to achieve their aspirations and allow for a smoother transition after university.

By Hasan Almosoy, First Year Representative

My Experience as a Warwick Law Fresher: Term One

Since starting at Warwick in October, I’ve been astonished at how quickly freshers become intimately involved with the Warwick Law Society. It is truly the hub of the law student experience. Within just one term, a friend of mine had been appointed to the society’s social subcommittee, and I had been elected First Year Representative.

After being elected First Year Rep, the kaleidoscopic variety of opportunities and events for freshers organised by the Warwick Law Society amazed me. As well as providing more obvious services – such as excellent careers guidance – LawSoc organises exciting socials and sporting fixtures.

Mooting and negotiation are two essential skills for any aspiring lawyer. Even if you’re not intending to become a barrister, mooting deepens your understanding of academic law, and helps you feel comfortable and confident when presenting a case.

The First Year Mooting Competition was my first experience of mooting, despite previously taking part in debating. I was pleasantly surprised that they contained similar elements. I’d assumed mooting would be far drier and more technical, but the thought process was much the same: you think of the possible arguments to support your argument, and then forage through case law to find some judicial endorsement of that argument. As an introduction to mooting, the First Year Mooting Competition was perfect – it wasn’t too intense, but you got a real flavour for the more advanced mooting which comes after a few years of legal study.

Commercial negotiation is great preparation for a career as a high-flying solicitor in the City. Getting the best deal for a client is the bread-and-butter of a lawyer’s work.

I took part in the A&O Commercial Negotiation competition. After registration, you are partnered with someone (you can request someone specifically, or be randomly allocated). Each team is given twenty minutes to read through their brief, understand the problem scenario, and plan the best deal for their clients. A further twenty minutes of tense negotiation follows. Although I initially found negotiating awkward, I soon got into the swing of it. I would highly recommend this to anyone who fancies being the next Harvey Specter.

Warwick Law Society’s social events are the envy of other societies. During the first term, my calendar was lavishly adorned with nights out co-ordinated by thesocial secretaries and their subcommittee. The amount of work they put in to organising so many great events is astonishing and impressive.

One social which sticks in my mind is the Pub Golf. Intrepid students took part in a bar crawl through Leamington Spa, culminating at Neon. Everyone really got into the team spirit (it was a nightmare washing off pink face-paint the next morning), and received a Pub Golf T-shirt for their troubles!

I also took part in the Domestic Tour to Liverpool. A bus-load of law students travelled to Liverpool during reading week for a booze-soaked three days. As well as going on nights out, we found time to indulge in local culture, visiting the maritime museum and the Tate gallery. Everybody was really friendly, and getting to know the LawSoc Exec better was a marvellous opportunity.

My advice to any fresher is clear: get involved in Warwick Law Society, and do so quickly! You’ll find they’re responsible for an impressive chunk of the events you’ll participate in during your time at university, and getting to know members of the executive is a terrific way of getting involved with those events. Given the staggering breadth of LawSoc’s activities, there truly is something for everyone.

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By James Smith, Warwick Law Society First Year Representative

The Importance of Being Earnestly Involved in your Student Law Society – Bethany Wren

 

One of my favourite parts of working at LawCareers.Net is getting to work regularly with student law societies at universities from around the UK. I am always impressed by the level of enthusiasm and passion I see displayed by societies and their members.

Getting involved with your student law society is a great step in your legal education and career. Societies are hubs of information and empowerment in which members can develop their knowledge and skills, support one another and, of course, have fun.

There are so many benefits of joining your student law society, and below are just a few of the ways that your society can help you and your legal career:

 

Careers events

 Attending careers events are a huge part of being a society member and your committee should be delivering regular events that aim to inform, educate and progress you on your career path. Your society will undoubtedly have excellent links with a range of law firms and the events organised will put you in front of various graduate recruiters, trainees and even partners during the academic year. Make sure to take full advantage of these opportunities to learn more about the firms, network, and even to share a drink or two with firm representatives during less formal events.

 

Social events

 Social events don’t have to just mean boozy bar crawls with your fellow society members, although I’m not undervaluing the chance to make friends with the rest of your law cohort over a few G&Ts! Your law society should be offering varied social events (alcoholic/non-alcoholic, daytime/night-time), aiming to strengthen the personal bonds within your society and, of course, offering the chance to meet and come together with your fellow students on a regular basis.

 

Mooting and pro bono

 If you’re interested in either of these activities, law societies can provide you with plenty of opportunities to practise your advocacy skills and get involved with pro bono projects. Make sure to check for mooting competitions and pro bono initiatives run by your society as these will both help to develop practical skills you will certainly need later in your legal career.

 

Non-law students

 You don’t have to study law to be a member of a law society; in fact, your student law society is the perfect place to start if you are a non-law student with legal ambitions. I would always recommend students studying other subjects to join their law society as it can provide them with a wealth of information about the courses and qualifications that are required to undertake in order to pursue a career in law, as well as to ensure they regularly interact with legal topics and material.

 

Get involved!

If you’re serious about a career in law, there is no reason not to join your society. The wealth of opportunities that your society can provide is invaluable and it’s a brilliant way to get involved in the legal world at an early stage. Why not also add some sparkle to your CV and legal applications by running for a position of power on the committee, or even campaigning for president? Here at LCN, we believe that you can only stand to gain from joining your student law society – so get involved and see what it can do for you!

For more information on what to expect from your student law society, see my full article from LawCareers.Net.

Each year we celebrate the best student law societies across the country at the LawCareers.Net Student Law Society Awards. For more information on this year’s nominated societies, please visit our website.

Pictured below is LCN’s London Networking event featuring Bethany Wren and City University Law Society Members. The second image is taken from LCN’s Champagne Afternoon Tea & Cakes event hosted with Warwick Law Society earlier this year.

We would like to thank Bethany Wren from LawCareers.Net for her contribution to our Blog.

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Behind the Glitz & Glamour – what being the Law Ball Coordinator truly entails

Hi, my name is Tolu Karunwi and I am an obsessive planner. For as long as I can remember I’ve planned everything – be it my outfits for the week, my hair appointments or even the playlist I listen to on the bus ride home from Uni (yes it’s that bad). I always have a mental to-do list guiding me on what exactly I intend to achieve within the day. Realising that this was a key aspect of my personality and gaining much needed encouragement from the previous Law Ball Coordinator is truly what pushed me to campaign for this post – and I’ve never looked back.

The Law Ball is undoubtedly one of the most glamorous nights in the Law Society’s calendar. But it’s more than that – it’s a night of celebration, mainly to do with the society’s various achievements over the year seeing as it is one of the last events that occur before our annual Elections. So it was imperative for me to ensure we went out with a bang. This was no easy feat.

From liaising with the Students’ Union to sticking to a specific budget – here is a breakdown of what being Law Ball Coordinator truly means:

  • Working with the SU: The SU’s office became my 2nd home. I felt there was no other way to gain the information I required than to bombard them with as many questions as I could think of. I worked closely with the SU to ensure that the Ball wasn’t going off track in terms of making sure all the ideas I had in mind to elevate the Ball were feasible and realistic. They acted as my advocates in terms of ensuring all payments were made to external individuals like the DJ, photobooth hire and so on. Maintaining a good rapport with the SU was a key aspect of my role.
  • Becoming a top researcher: Although I gained a lot of assistance, I quite literally had to step in some big shoes. Creating an event aimed at hosting over 300 guests at a prestigious venue like The Hilton meant that I had to ensure everything – from the decor, to the entertainment was top notch. I spent a great deal of time researching various people I thought would add to the night in the best way possible. Merely reminiscing on the amount of tabs opened on my laptop at times genuinely makes me itch!
  • Selecting a Sub-Committee: The Ball is too heavy a job for one person to complete and so I went through a thorough interview process to select the most efficient people who would embark on the rewarding journey with me. This process was worth it as I was able to ensure I had the right people around me all eager to achieve a common goal!
  • Appealing to the society and wider public: I had to remind myself on various occasions – ‘this is not your wedding Tolu.’ As much as I do love planning and there’s a certain type of event I’d like to go to, I needed to constantly bear in mind that the Ball was not for me but for everyone and so every aspect of it had to remain inclusive. This was especially clear when we began our promo towards the ball. I needed to ensure I was not only speaking to people via social media, but I was talking to them one-on one and face to face. People appeal to faces they’ve seen before moreso than words they see on a screen so detaching myself from a heavy reliance on social media was something this role forced me to learn!

Can you be the Belle of the Ball?

If becoming the Law Ball Coordinator is a role you would love to have, I would say make sure you’re prepared. Make sure you are able to be flexible with plans as things change – even at the very last minute. 
Nothing ever goes according to a strict, tight plan so have fun with it! Free your mind but ensure you are conscientious with your time and your planning. Start things early. It’s the age old piece of advice we’re all given but trust me, for this role – the earlier the better! It saves you a lot of personal stress and trauma if you know you’ve secured the venue on time and have secured a list of amazing contacts ahead of time.

Communicate. Don’t assume people should know what you’re thinking or what you meant. Ensure you are constantly relaying all your ideas to the SU, the senior exec (i.e. President, Vice President and Treasurer), and your sub-committee so that if plans should fall through (which they will) you have people ready to step in and offer useful advice or help. This role is not one where you isolate yourself, vocalising exactly what you mean is so vital towards creating a seamless event where everybody is on the same page.

Lastly and most importantly, be organised. Be organised with your time for your degree, the society and most importantly yourself. Don’t let this role consume you. It is meant to be a rewarding and fulfilling experience so make sure you enjoy it. The best way you’ll be able to do so is if your organisation skills are well developed.

Farewell, Goodbye…

I’ve learnt so much from the year I’ve spent holding this position. It’s been such a rollercoaster ride of emotions but I’ve enjoyed every single second of it. It has built me up as a person, teaching me that things will not always go my way, but 9 times out of 10 will divert into better and bigger directions.

One of my greatest struggles on this ride, was getting over 300 tickets sold. This task stretched me, increasing my level of imagination and forcing me to think outside the box. I’m grateful for this as I’ve learnt so much about resilience and communication – much more than I would’ve doing anything else.

My time has come to an end but it’s a happy ending. I was able to make people smile and laugh and dance – and so can you! This role (as are all the amazing roles on the Law Society executive team) is a role of service. So, to put it simply – behind all the glitz & glamour is grit and hard work but this is so much more glamorous to me than any other thing.

Written by, Tolu Karunwi, Law Ball Coordinator 2016-17.

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Like, Share, Follow – A Day in the Life of a Publicity Officer

Social media fascinates me. The ability to influence people’s opinions through various means of marketing even more so. This fascination, coupled with a passion for graphic design and enthusiasm for the Law Society, was the main reason behind my decision to run for the position of Publicity Officer last year. Looking back, I can say the year of being on the Exec team has been extremely fulfilling, if demanding at times.

 What goes down behind the scenes

 The first thing you need to know about Publicity is that it’s an all-encompassing role that requires a detailed overview of all the aspects of the society and at the same time gives you an invaluable insight of ‘behind the scenes’ of events and decisions. This includes designing the Sponsorship Pack, arguably the most important document a new Exec needs to produce just at the start of their mandates. You are thrown in at the deep end – a comprehensive and visually-appealing sponsorship proposal will secure more funding for all the events the Society is to run in the year ahead. It goes without saying that it is crucial to maintain a high standard of publicity materials throughout the year to ensure all the Society events and causes are well-known to members, other students on campus and beyond. This requires constant alertness, timely responses to requests of other Exec members and most importantly, dedication.

 Overseeing and steering the visual direction of the Society when it comes to marketing materials is demanding, but above all rewarding. Just as in major companies, the brand is the most valuable thing a Society owns. It is the role of the Publicity Officer to keep it in the best position possible and introduce it in the most appealing manner to Freshers and other potential members.

 So to break it down, as a Publicity Officer, I need to:

  • Produce visual marketing materials both online and in print for the core events LawSoc runs, but there are specific Publicity Officers too (for Law Ball, Careers Summit and Obiter Dicta)
  • Manage LawSoc’s social media accounts (which are in my opinion the most effective means of communication with our members since we are University students who are very much on the digital platform after all)
  • Take photos and script/direct/edit/act in promotional videos
  • Delegate tasks to my Sub-Committee of three, to which I’m entirely grateful for all their help and without which it would be impossible to carry out all my tasks.

Have you got what it takes?

 Anyone considering running for Publicity Officer firstly needs to be creative. You will be required to create posters/banners/Facebook events for occasions ranging from football trials to a formal careers dinner sometimes all in one day, therefore it is essential you are able to quickly switch between mind-sets and effectively cater to significant audiences.

 Creativity goes hand in hand with enthusiasm and dedication: you will be asked to put together a banner in as little as 15 minutes or, more common, overnight. Resilience, good time management and efficient communication with other Exec members – essentially your clients – are therefore just as important as the creative aspect of the role.

 Finally, it is important to have self-initiative in quieter periods. This role has a huge potential, and you can always work towards improving LawSoc’s image and reputation by coming up with new, innovative marketing methods.

 What I’ve gained from the role

 The occasional stress aside, the role of a Publicity Officer has been a highly rewarding one. I have had a huge level of independence and control over the marketing materials the Society releases, with Justin and other Exec members always being there to help me. All the hard work really does pay off, and the recognition of my efforts by the Exec as well as other members has without doubt been the best part of my job. Being awarded the Resilience Award at the inaugural LawSoc awards, definitely made the long hours of staring at my computer screen formatting documents and designing posters worth it.

 The experience has been invaluable in teaching me how to manage many projects at once, having flexibility as well as knowing how to prioritise and plan my tasks efficiently – which are the key skills required of a commercial lawyer – the profession I would like to pursue. Firms treasure their brands, and helping manage LawSoc’s has been really beneficial in that aspect, as well as truly exciting overall. Despite the occasional short notices, I have enjoyed designing every single piece of publicity I have made, and there definitely is a thrill in having a deadline in an hour or competing with yourself in creating effective and attractive visual materials. Through my position of Publicity Officer, I also discovered a huge interest for marketing and graphic design as a potential career, so if I ever end up working in either, I will have to thank LawSoc for allowing me to hone my interest and skills in these areas.

 LawSoc Love,

Jure Tus

Publicity Officer 2016/2017

Warwick Law Society

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A look behind the champagne and networking

When I first ran for Careers Officer, I had two simple aims: Using my experiences and knowledge to help others secure jobs, while simultaneously meeting law firms and gaining a Training Contract myself.  While I have been fortunate enough to achieve both of these aims this year, I wish my naïve, second-year self had known how difficult and arduous the role would be.

If you are considering running for Careers Officer this year for any Law Society exec, you should take into account the sheer amount of time you are expected to dedicate. First term (known as the ‘milk round’ in law firms) is hectic, with firms competing against each other to ensure they have the largest presence on campus. This means that you’ll be expected to host a law firm once a week (if not twice) and all the planning falls on you.

Not only do you have to liaise with law firms on a daily basis, you will be the first port of call for any careers enquiries from your members. This means you have to be an expert in the profession and you have to be willing to help at all times. It’s definitely not required from you but one of my biggest aims this year was to help people with their applications, by creating drop in sessions, holding student-led information events and having my email inbox open to anyone at all times. I think the thing I’m most proud of this year is moving towards this advisory role, instead of just hosting events for members to attend.

If you do run for Careers Officer, just remember that you don’t owe everyone 24 hours of your time – You can take a break occasionally. You aren’t expected to read everyone’s applications within 20 minutes, and you definitely shouldn’t abandon your other commitments for the sake of putting careers first.

To summarise, the things I wish I’d known when I ran are these:

  • People will expect the most from you – You are volunteering in this role so don’t let it consume you!
  • You need to be able to rely on yourself completely as people will consistently let you down in this role, from law firms to team members. Always, always, always have a back up plan.
  • Start planning Careers Dinner early on – It’s our biggest careers event of the year and takes months and months of planning (and you’ll even be expected to take Careers Dinner calls when you’re in Peru and it’s 6am…)
  • You cannot do everything – It’s great to have goals and aims but be realistic. Firm priorities will take up the whole of your first term so second term is really the time to implement any new ideas you have (such as application sessions).
  • Be on top of your emails – If you don’t reply to a firm instantly, you risk losing that sponsor for the rest of the society!

Finally, enjoy it as much as possible. It may seem as if the role is demanding and stressful (it is!) but it’s also a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, help others and gain great exposure to the best law firms in the country! Being on such an amazing exec like Law Society has shaped my third year and provided some of my most cherished university memories – I’m so grateful to have been voted in and been given the opportunity!

Written by Charlotte Mcging, Warwick Law Society Careers Officer 2016-2017.

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The Truth About Parties

 

Following our President Justin Farrance’s blog post, I was inspired to contribute my own experience of being on the Warwick Law Society executive team. I am currently one of two social events coordinators at the society, and, together, we are responsible for running all social events. Examples of events that we have organised include but are not limited to: Meet the Exec Q&A Session, a Fresher Tea Party, nights out to various clubs, a Winter Wonderland Christmas Party, Pub Golf, laser tag, and a movie night. The nature of my role is a fun one, however the level of commitment and work required is nothing short of serious.

Let me start by properly introducing myself, my name is Elizabete Ludborza but everybody calls me Beth. I am 20 years old and, to put it shortly, I am European (Latvian, Lithuanian, Russian, Luxembourgish – I am clearly struggling with an identity crisis having grown up as a Third Culture Kid). Even in secondary school, I immensely enjoyed getting involved with the student body and staff. I always wanted to represent the interests of my peers and make them into a reality, which is why I got involved in my school’s Pupils’ Committee (our version of a Students’ Union). During my time there, I organised Europarty 2015 – a party where up to 1,200 students from fourteen official European Schools flew in to attend. I handled all relations between venues, DJs and Pupils’ Committees to ensure that everything went smoothly. With this experience, my passion for organising events grew and I knew that I wanted to continue at university. When the opportunity to run as a social events coordinator at the Law Society presented itself – I knew I had to do it.

Candidates are frequently apprehensive about having to give a speech in front of a room full of people as part of the election process, but I promise you that it really is not as scary as it sounds! You do not have to be a confident public speaker to convey confidence – fake it ‘til you make it, as cliché as it sounds. The speech is only two minutes long, so the time flies by before you know it. I was up against five other people who wanted my position so I knew that I had to have a strong and convincing speech. My top advice for doing this is three-fold:

  1. KNOW what you want to say – present yourself and why you are the best fit for the position, all backed up by evidence to support it. Show understanding of the position you are applying for and any (realistic) ideas you have on how to improve it.
  2. LOOK the part – dress in a professional manner, have good body language and make eye contact with the audience. This is arguably the most important point in giving a strong speech. Your great ideas and experience will be overshadowed by an awkward stature or a nervous habit.
  3. ENJOY talking – have a natural smile whilst presenting as this will show that you are friendly and, above all, passionate about what you are talking about. Show your personality and do not be afraid to crack a joke! Talk loudly and slowly. It is a common mistake to talk too quickly, and again, makes it harder for the audience to follow what you are saying.

I practised my speech repeatedly until I could say it off by heart, which meant that I only had a post-it note with bullet points during my speech. I strongly advise against having a full A4 paper with your full speech, as this will make you want to simply read off it, thus, losing that invaluable connection with the audience. Practice makes perfect, so practice giving your timed speech in front of friends or flatmates – they will pick up on where you can improve!

Something I wish I knew before assuming my role as a social events coordinator was the countless hurdles I would have to overcome in order to get an event up and running. There is a LOT of behind-the-scenes work and paperwork that must be done for the Warwick Students’ Union to approve any of our events. This must be done weeks, if not months, in advance so you are constantly looking to the future. A common misconception about my role is that it is as easy as publishing a Facebook event and calling it a day. In reality, this is far from the truth. Another misconception is that it is feasible to have big weekly socials (something that I naïvely thought as well!), however every event has a certain budget we must stick to and we should not clash with other big campus-wide or Law Society events.

What many people might not know is that a lot of executive members of the Law Society manage and lead a group of sub-committee members. I want to emphasise how thankful I am for our sub-committee members as they make mine and my partner’s job that much easier. If you would like to get involved with the Law Society but you do not want to have as high of a level of responsibility, becoming a sub-committee member gives you great experience and a taste of what it is like to be an executive member.

Putting aside the fact that being an executive member of the Law Society is an ‘attractive’ thing to add on your CV, I am so lucky and grateful to work alongside a talented group of people that I admire. Whatever your role may be, you will work closely with other executive team members, so it is crucial that you get along with them. If I had not taken the plunge and put myself out there by running at elections, I would not have had the pleasure of getting to know and working together with my ‘partner in crime’, Temi Cole, or any other executive member. Every single person on the executive team is so good at what they do, that I cannot help but be proud of them and our society. We are a team at Warwick Law Society, a team that I am extremely proud and honoured to be a part of.

Posted by Elizabete Ludborza, Social Secretary of Warwick Law Society.

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Are you a Law Society Exec/Committee hopeful?

With January upon us and a new mind-set of hope for what 2017 will bring, is a position of responsibility on your university’s Law Society something worth considering?

For those not aware, many university Law Societies elect their new team in March, meaning you have less than 2 months to put yourself in the best position for an upcoming election. The first thing to consider is whether a role on the society suits you and the university life you lead. Here is a list for thought when deciding on a suitable position:

  • The level of commitment and time required – There is no denying that certain positions within a Law Society demand more of your time than others.
  • Necessary experience/skills set – Only run for a position that you feel confident in delivering to the best standard for your members.
  • Previous societal involvement – Regularly attending events or joining a sub- committee are great ways to establish whether the society is for you.
  • Speak to the current Exec Member/Committee – No one knows their position any better. Asking for advice can help express an interest.
  • Added Value – Ultimately, the position should achieve a goal, be it adding to your university experience or increasing your employability.

Many understandably worry about the election process, which can be daunting for many people; however, it is an experience than can help build your confidence and act as a learning experience, even if you are unsuccessful in gaining your desired position. As the UK’s first ever elected Non-Law President, I knew that standing for President would naturally open me up to much judgement and questioning.  However, overcoming my own initial concerns and winning a society of 1000+ members over has led to the society promoting diversity and setting precedent throughout the country, which has proved incredibly successful with our sponsors and incoming members.

At Warwick Law Society, our election process entails the following: submitting an online manifesto distributed to all members, a period of campaigning online lasting up to a week and a speech on the night votes are cast. Although societies differ slightly in their election process and how one can run, if you are passionate and eligible to run, I would recommend putting yourself forward and embracing the opportunities that elections can bring.

Further considerations are the benefits holding a position in your Law Society can give rise to. Ultimately, if you have a potential interest in the legal profession, being part of the society’s Exec/Committee can be largely beneficial from an employability perspective. Many Law Societies have a diverse range of sponsors and partners, with many utilising their Alumni networks. Holding any position on a Law Society can help to establish contacts, have personal introductions working with recruiters and showcase the required skills for many job opportunities.

Moreover, holding a position can be great for your personal development by utilising the time you have at university for productive matters. Most people will graduate with a 1st or 2.1 from university, but recruiters are aware that only a select few are elected each year to lead their Law Society.

Lastly, being heavily invested into a society can help you to meet likeminded people and build lasting friendships. Inevitably your Exec/Committee will work for a long period of time together and becoming part of a close-knit team can be personally rewarding and can help to establish lasting memories of your time at university. There are many ups and some downs throughout the year, but from personal experience, having the best and most talented group of people supporting can only help you to better yourself and the society.

Many people are equally intrigued when deciding to run during elections by the drawbacks of holding a position within a Law Society. It is fair to say that Law Societies are renowned for working extremely hard and investing many hours into each event or sponsored opportunity. Whist having responsibility within a society is rewarding and fun, a position does come with a large amount of trust, by way of providing the best events for your members. If you know you are not able to dedicate enough time and effort to ensuring you live up to the responsibility, there are many other ways to get involved that do not include an Exec Committee position, which also look impressive – We, along with other university Law Societies, have strong mooting, negotiation,pro bono, social and sports opportunities. More specifically, Warwick Law Society offers you the chance to write for our own magazine, Obiter Dicta, and join our numerous sub-committees.

Finally, if you are unsuccessful in gaining a position this coming election period, please do not feel disheartened. Standing for a position is a personal achievement in itself and many overcome their own, personal obstacles when running during elections. Whether you decide to run this year or wait until next, think about the things you can do now to make yourself stand out. If you go to Warwick and are a member of our Law Society, please do come forward and approach any of the Exec for some advice – they are all more than happy to grab a coffee and talk about their roles of responsibility and what their position specifically entails!

Over the coming weeks Warwick Law Society will be sharing posts about some of the positions you could run for at the beginning of March. Stay tuned to gain a personal insight into the roles with hints/tips and how the current position holder found the election process.

Written by Justin Farrance, President of Warwick Law Society 2016-2017.

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Be confident- run to be part of an equally talented group of people!