Kirsty Henton is a final year law student studying at the University of Greenwich and is the Campus Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors. You can view her Linkedin here.
What do you gain from becoming a Campus Ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors?
Being a campus ambassador can open many doors for students. The position gives students the opportunity to network with lawyers from trainee level to CEO. Not only do you have the chance to become acquainted with inspirational individuals, you can immerse yourself within the culture of law firms. The role offers many benefits, for example, priority invitations to events, networking evenings, presentations and open days. It is at these events you begin to build your professional brand, by learning about these firms, gaining a deeper insight into their specialised practice areas, and meeting new people.
Why would you recommend other aspiring lawyers get involved in equivalent positions and what are the skills you develop through the experience?
During my time working with Aspiring Solicitors, I have learnt a colossal amount. For instance, organising, running and hosting events at my university for the students, posting weekly social media posts to advertise events, keeping up to date with emails, managing my time, prioritising tasks, perfecting my communication skills, working under pressure and problem solving when obstacles arise. These skills are an absolute necessity for a trainee lawyer. Although this role may be the tip of the iceberg in comparison to the responsibilities of a trainee, nevertheless the experience prepares you for what is to come.
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‘Although this role may be the tip of the iceberg in comparison to the responsibilities of a trainee, nevertheless the experience prepares you for what is to come.’
Aspiring Solicitors has helped me in ways I did not think it could. Having it listed on my CV and LinkedIn, has sparked interest from potential employers. I highly recommend students getting involved and applying for the campus ambassador role because it makes you employable, demonstrates that you are a serious candidate and dedicated. In my opinion, it is an essential and valuable experience to have on your CV, especially when students are applying for vacation schemes and training contracts.
What is the most significant experience you have had with Aspiring Solicitors personally and why?
The most significant experience for me is the Aspire scheme, which started in September 2018. I was privileged to be allocated mentors from Hogan Lovells and Bank of America Merrill Lynch. The structure of the scheme was broken down into two phases. Phase one consisted of attending workshops and lunches with my mentors at Hogan Lovells, where I learnt to read and analyse commercial newspapers, practice interview skills and answering the dreaded question by all students, commercial topics.
In the final workshop we worked in groups, analysed a topic for twenty minutes, and finished with a Q and A session with two partners who oversee graduate recruitment interviews. This session simplified how to break down the questions, pick out the relevant points, show a level of understanding and answer in a concise manner.
How did you talk about your experiences as a Campus Ambassador in your vacation scheme application?
In terms of harnessing my experience and utilising this to my advantage in my applications, I would use my experiences in my role in competency-based questions. For example, “tell us about a time where you had to use problem solving skills” this is a great opportunity to sell yourself well to your reader by telling them about your dilemmas running events, communication with your colleagues and prioritising certain tasks in times of crisis.
This illustrates a broader image of you, it shows that you are committed, dedicated to the task at-hand and willing to go the extra mile. Although legal work experience can certainly make you a competitor in applications, law firms also want candidates to have transferable skills from other roles they have undertaken. The campus ambassador role provides you with numerous transferable skills which are gained from practical experience. Take it from a final-year law student who has a background as a legal secretary, your experience must be current, and this role built a platform and enabled me to have the confidence, knowledge and experience to complete applications to a high standard together with the help and support from my AS coach and the employability team.