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.
By James Smith, Warwick Law Society First Year Representative