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‘Flair’ in Law – Meet Professionals from the Legal World

‘Flair’ in Law – Meet Professionals from the Legal World


Stephanie Knowles
Stephanie Knowles
‘Flair’ in Law – Meet Professionals...

Law students took part in a wide programme of activities this week during ‘Flair Week’. Students were invited to challenge themselves with a piece of independent work and guests joined classes virtually to provide students with an insight into working within the legal world.

Lacey Hyde, year 12, had the opportunity to listen to Matthew Lingard, an Intellectual Property lawyer. She says:

“On Tuesday we had the opportunity to listen to Matt from Walker Morris, a law firm in Leeds. He gave us a detailed insight into possible career paths we could pursue with law and explained the journey he has taken to become an Intellectual Property Solicitor. He also spoke about the challenges he has faced and the achievements he has attained along the way. We would like to thank both Matt and Ms Knowles for organising this beneficial experience for us.”

David Tooley, another year 12 student says:

“Tuesday period 2 Matt Lingard an intellectual property solicitor gave an insight into being a solicitor. During the hour he explained his job and the many benefits it has to offer such as, working with a premier league team or something boring like paper bowls. In addition, he gave an explanation of how to become a solicitor by going through university and training with a solicitor’s firm.”

Matthew shared many of the cases he has worked on: from protecting the copyright of Ugg boots to preventing a beer from using nutella within its recipe as the company did not want to be associated with alcohol! He talked about some of the things about his job that he did not like, mainly dealing with more difficult clients, but it was clear that he loved the excitement of being involved in real world, tangible issues and working with a whole range of people

Another visitor was Joe Colley, a newly qualified solicitor working in a large London law firm and specialising in family law. Joe told the students about the route he took to qualify and some of the challenges he faced. He gave the students advice on how to impress universities but also routes into law that did not involve going to university at all. As a family law solicitor Joe’s work is varied and often very fast paced, especially when dealing with child abduction cases. He explained how his favourite aspect of his job was court work. This led Tom Philips in year 12 asking whether he had ever considered becoming a barrister. This is clearly a move that Joe may well take in the future but he explained that he would miss being able to see a case from beginning to end and working directly with clients.

Tom Phillips in year 12 writes:

“Throughout the presentation Joe Colley, explained to us the intricacies of his job as a solicitor and the differences between his practice and the works of barristers and legal executives, as well as his personal journey through university and law school.

He told us how he started as we are, with our A-levels, detailing how he didn’t get brilliant A levels as he expected he would have needed to in order to pursue a career in law. Following this, he was placed at Bournemouth university, which actually assisted him in his legal journey, as the university offered a placement year working for a local solicitors firm. After university,whilst studying at law school, he also studied for his masters at night school and worked part time to fund the qualification. Joe described this as “the hardest two years of his life”.

Joe then told us how he went on to work as a trainee solicitor in a london firm, where normally a solicitor would do rotational training, serving terms in focusing on different areas of law. Joe instead decided that he was solely interested in family law, so he spent three of his four serving terms working as a family solicitor, with one focused on tax law. He told us that his varied experience has helped him as family law links to multiple sectors of the law such as dealing with money issues or abduction.

At the conclusion of his presentation, Joe told us about what his job as a solicitor now entails, telling us about some of his more interesting cases involving abduction,how he interacts with InterPol and foreign legal services. He then explained the differences between his job and that of a barrister or legal executive, also explaining the routes needed to get into these jobs.

Joe finished the meeting by answering questions that we posed about the details of the job. The first question asked if in retrospect, he would have preferred to take a different route and to become a barrister, he told us that it was a difficult question for him as he is a massive fan of client advocacy, but that he wouldn’t enjoy how barristers have so little connection to the cases and clients they represent. He was then asked if he spoke any other languages and if so, had it impacted his work in foreign cases. He responded by talking about how in law, professional translators are utilised by solicitors in international cases, as the terminology and definitions used are highly important, he also said though that the majority of cases he works with were being tried under the UK legal system, meaning translation was largely unnecessary. This questioning concluded our meeting with Colley, who left his contact details in the case that there were any other questions we had.

The law classes and Ms Knowles would like to thank the guests for their time and their valuable insight into law in action in the world of work.

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