Hear what students in the UEA Law School have to say about their course and university experiences:
Naomi Newell, LLP Law Alumna, Cozens-Hardy LLP
“I think the combination of academic study with practical extracurricular learning was the real winning aspect of the Law School… The teaching staff at the Law School were exceptionally supportive and made themselves available at short notice, at all hours of the day and at weekends, to help me achieve my academic goals.”
1. What was it about studying in the Law School that made your time at UEA so rewarding?
The main thing that made my time with the Law School so rewarding was all the extracurricular activities that I got involved with. I enjoyed the academic side of my degree, especially my final year optional modules; but I really loved being busy with my fingers in lots of different pies. I think the combination of academic study with practical extracurricular learning was the real winning aspect of the Law School. I was involved with real-life work through my volunteering at Norfolk Community Law Service and I also learned through mock practical scenarios with the competitions, mainly the mooting. The breadth of activities that the Law School offered helped me to grow as an individual, helping me to solidify my academic views whilst also building my professional development.
2. How do you think your studies prepared you for employability and gaining your current position?
It goes without saying that I would not be in my current training contract without a good, solid academic record. The teaching staff at the Law School were exceptionally supportive and made themselves available at short notice, at all hours of the day and at weekends, to help me achieve my academic goals. I am also sure that the skills I obtained through all the extracurricular activities, along with the extensive networking opportunities that the Law School offered, directly led to me securing my training contract with Cozens-Hardy LLP in Norwich. I was able to start marketing myself as an employable undergraduate from the very beginning of my degree and to start developing a reputation within the Norwich legal community. This put me in a position where I was able to obtain real (and paid!) work experience from very early on, which was an attractive addition to my CV.
3. Please summarise your employment history since graduating, including your career highlights to date.
I graduated in July 2013 and worked over that summer doing legal secretary maternity and holiday cover at Cozens-Hardy LLP. I would encourage undergraduate students to consider secretarial work in a law firm, as it helped me to develop key workplace skills. I then started my Legal Practice Course at BPP in Cambridge. In February 2014, I started a part-time job as an Associate Tutor with the Law School. I really enjoyed this work, as I was heavily involved with interviewing and placing students for the Norfolk Community Law Service voluntary programme. In September 2014 I started my training contract with Cozens-Hardy LLP and in October 2014, I was awarded a 4 month reduction in the length of my training contract, so I am due to qualify in May 2016. In June 2015, I took on a caseload of my own, which has been a challenge but I rely every day on skills that I acquired during my degree. Whilst I’m of course aware that I am constantly learning in my role, I am very grateful that I’m not trying to solidify more basic skills whilst dealing with a real caseload.