One of the perks of being in London is that you get to be at the centre of it all. Whether that be in relation to music, the arts, business or simply running into celebrities when you least expect it. (Tottenham Court Road seems to be popular).
For many students, it certainly is the best place to be not only culturally and socially but for whatever career or subject you want to pursue. And I think this is especially true for Law in my opinion.
This was highly evident at the annual Barrister’s Cocktail Party held at my university this week, and as far as I know no other university has an event quite like this,
As it’s my first year I didn’t quite know what to expect as the room filled up with members of the faculty, all the law students, barristers and members of the judiciary. You could certainly feel the underlying sense of excitement and nervousness of the first years. You’d expect it to be a highly intimidating event, where the students would mill on one side of the room and the professionals on the other.
But it most certainly was nothing like that, instead it was an amazing and relaxing atmosphere, complete with a photographer to catch the special moments as we networked, and of course the drinks were great.
Like I said it was an amazing opportunity to just network and actually talk to people who are where you might want to be in just a few years time. I gained a lot of knowledge, insight and took away a lot of invaluable advice from people who know what they’re doing and know their job inside out. One thing I took away from that is that gaining worldly experience will hold you in good stead, and make yourself stand out always (for the right reasons of course).
It definitely felt surreal being in the same room as Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, who is currently the President of the Supreme Court in the UK and although I unfortunately didn’t get the chance to talk to him before he left, people like The Rt Hon. Lord Justice Laws, Lord Justice of Appeal were in attendance as well.
To think that you read their judgements and opinions every day, and suddenly they are there in front of you sporting an Alice in Wonderland tie, making jokes and casually taking selfies with you makes it even more so surreal.Anyone who says lawyers are boring or have no sense of humour is clearly wrong.
For me personally it was just a great chance to find out more about the way barristers and judges work. Talking to people like the Course Director of the BPTC who is involved in writing the text books that are actually used in teaching the Bar Professional Training Course and finding out how their courses work and what they look for in applications and candidates was certainly enlightening. Not to mention that mini pupillages are hard to come by, but on the night we had the chance of barristers personally offering us opportunities to do placements at their chambers, when for most trying to just apply for one seems elusive.
I think it’s at moments like these where you stand, cocktail in hand, and you realise just how far you have come. How lucky and blessed you are. All the sleepless nights, stress, consistent hard work and crazy deadlines suddenly all seem worth it. And of course if you were at the point of feeling like giving up or feeling slightly inadequate, it encourages you and inspires you to keep persevering.
I guess what I am saying is; post-event sitting in McDonalds with friends and reflecting on the night and remembering that moment as I stood in that room… I felt proud and forgot how stressed I have been lately and I was just able to take the time to appreciate where I am. I am definitely lucky to go to such a university where the Law society has unique opportunities and events lined up for us.
And like I said it gives you even more motivation to continue working harder and not waste such an opportunity
Hard work most definitely pays off. It may not feel like it when you haven’t slept in days, but don’t give up.