Were feeling terribly proud at the Lawyer2B.com towers this week, as weve just hosted our inaugural sixth form career day. And I can safely say the event was a tremendous success.
The career day was aimed at gifted and talented Year 12 A Level students from state schools and sixth form colleges in London and greater London. Over 200 students attended the event, which ran on 17 and 18 March at BPP Law Schools Holborn branch (see story).
The career day was especially significant for me because of my own personal experience of breaking into the legal profession. I am the daughter of first generation immigrants from Bangladesh and grew up in one of the poorest suburbs in Luton. So when I bagged my place at university to study law it was quite a big deal. Indeed, I set a bit of a precedent for my younger siblings.
Thankfully, despite being based in Luton my old sixth form college was pretty good at encouraging its students, including myself, to reach their potential. This support helped me to gain decent A Levels, which I strongly believe were the key to my breaking into the legal profession. Good A Level grades open the doors to the top universities where law firms and barristers chambers fish for new talent. I know it shouldnt make a difference but it does.
Thats one of the main reasons we decided to invite Year 12 students to our career day. In my view its crucial for students to receive specialist careers advice in the first year of A Levels so if they do decide to pursue a career in law theres still time to pull out all the stops and get those crucial 340-plus UCAS points. Its also not too late to gain some valuable work experience to give their CVs a boost.
Theres no denying that law firms are taking diversity more seriously and there is no shortage of initiatives to help students from so-called non-traditional backgrounds break into the legal profession. But most of these schemes are targeted at those who are already at university. But as Ive said if youre CV is lacking those vital UCAS points then joining such programmes will only go so far.
We hope therefore that the aspiring young lawyers who attended our career day have got one step closer to achieving their dreams by encouraging them to focus on their future careers as early as possible.