By Ekaterina Zenina – Law Society (Cambridge)
This is the first post in a new series covering some of the different societies at Anglia Ruskin University. Would you like to showcase your society? Get in touch with The Ruskin Journal!
“Expand your knowledge and understanding of law, develop professionally and enhance your skills! – with the Anglia Law Society, Cambridge”
Law has always been the most important part of a functioning society. It is also known as being one of the most mysterious and complicated areas that ordinary people still struggle to understand – that is why lawyers are known for making money from people’s problems!
However, the law is far from witchcraft. It involves the same essential skills that are applicable and appreciated in other professions. Lawyers need to be focused, punctual, capable of networking and negotiating professionally and arguing their position (which is also known as “mooting”). Of course, they also need to know their law.
If you are looking to develop any of these skills – and to learn a bit more about the law – Law Society’s events will be a perfect place to go.
We are building our annual to help and support you in developing your skills and expanding your knowledge of the different areas of law. We also aim to help you build your CV and network with professionals from the legal industry, which can be helpful regardless of whether you are studying HR, Marketing, Business, Medicine or, of course, Law and Criminology. All areas of our lives are regulated by the law and it wouldn’t hurt to know a bit more about how it applies to your area of study.
One of the brightest examples of a society event, which gave us all an opportunity to network and build our CVs, was the Law Panel and Networking event which took place in October 2019. Our panellists included a recruitment professional from a well-known recruitment firm, Nelson Chambers (Andrew Fragnito-Day), a Head of Fenners Chambers (Meryl Hughes), a solicitor and recruitment specialist from Tees (Helen Midgley) and a barrister and recruitment professional from Fenners Chambers (Joshua Walters). They talked about their career journeys, shared some tips and then spent time networking with our attendees over some wine, cheese and grapes. It was a wonderful evening which received fabulous feedback from both our guests and guest speakers.
Our guest speakers shared some invaluable advice on how to write the best CV and a covering letter, and how to let your personality shine through during your interview. Here is a sample of things we learnt:
- You are all unique: there is something special about every one of you, whether it is a hobby, extracurricular activity or something you do for the community. Tell us about this in your CV, explain how it makes you a better person in an interview, and you will stand out! Go to your interview smiling, saying “Look at me!” – and we will (Meryl Hughes).
- Find time to do something beyond your lectures: coming to the events, getting involved with the Law Clinic, immersing yourself in the world of a profession you want to have in the future by reading. These all count towards your future career and make you stand out (Andrew Fragnito-Day).
- Ask questions, network, show interest and learn more about what you do and about other disciplines: develop yourself constantly. No recruiter is working FOR you – instead, YOU are trying to showcase yourself, and all the extra things you do will give you bonus marks when compared with others (Helen Midgley).
- Be honest: in interviews, during internships and vacation schemes, in your CV. Don’t make up your “unique selling point” – be genuine with yourself and find out what it actually is. If in doubt – look at point One, made by Meryl. Lies will always be uncovered (Joshua Walters).
Last semester, we concentrated on our negotiation skills and building professional relationships, and held a Professional Negotiation Skills workshop in collaboration with the HR and Management Society. We worked hard to ensure that our members, mostly Law students, had a chance to network with those who may become their closest friends in future – HR, Business, Management students and also Entrepreneurs and peer Law students. That is why we closely collaborated (and will continue to do so!) with Entrepreneurship, HRM and Business Societies, Faculty of Business and Law and Anglia Law Clinic. We also introduced a Commercial Awareness Bulletin and Weekly Newsletter, which are sent to our members-only, to boost their commercial awareness and inform them about some amazing events happening on and off-campus.
As a recognition of our hard work, we were awarded the SU “Society of the Month” award in October due to the “huge difference [we made] to students by running events to support and encourage them in their career journeys”. In December, our president was commended as the SU “Committee member of the Month”, and in January 2020, for all the amazing things we have done, we received the SU Gold Accreditation from the SU.
But this was only the beginning. At the start of next semester, we are announcing our new agenda, full of exciting and useful events. Some of these are listed below:
- Mooting Workshop and Demonstration – 20th January. Do you want to argue your point in court, workplace or personal life? Learn from lawyers! The Head of Law, Richard Mallett, will give you the best tips, and the ARU mooting team will demonstrate these in practice – all in Anglia School’s very own courtroom!
- Refreshers with the Societies with HR and Entrepreneurship Societies – 22nd January. The evening of networking, games and refreshments, meeting new people from your faculty and beyond!
- Surgery on trial: Legal Pitfalls of being a surgeon with a consultant surgeon and a Chair of Norfolk Law Society, Alexander Hardy – 11th February. This will be a talk about how medicine and law work together, and how well do they do so. Medical, Law and Criminology students should be the first in line, with everyone who has ever had any medical treatment to follow – this is definitely an area of law you need to know about!
- Using LinkedIn for professional purposes with Emma Jennings – 25th February. Have you heard about LinkedIn and a massive boost it gave to e-hireability? The tips shared by Emma will be equally great for all students, and all online recruitment platforms!
- Employment law talk and case study with Claire Sleep – 10th March. This talk, given by a highly commended employment lawyer and a partner in a large firm, Ashtons Legal, will provide a lot of information about how employment conflicts are solved, and about some aspects of employment law that can be affected by Brexit.
There are even more events planned, and more information about those already described, on the SU events calendar, the Law Society webpage and our social media. Follow us and stay tuned!