Lancashire Law School and leading North West law firm Harrison Drury held the second Young Leaders in Law event at the law firm’s Preston office on a warm and sunny evening in late May.
The partnership was created to give students opportunities to meet professionals, find out more about what it was like to work in a law firm, build a professional network and develop key employability skills. The evening started with some excellent networking training from Harrison Drury followed by an evening of networking and chances to put into practice what had been learned. Feedback from students and Harrison Drury professionals after the event was very positive, so as with the previous event I asked a couple of law students who attended to explain what they thought of the evening.
Emma Jane Darley (3rd year MLaw student)
I was really excited to be invited to participate in the networking event with Harrison Drury, having researched local firms I was excited to see if they were really as nice as they sounded on their website. I was not disappointed; I was greeted at the door by Kris the Marketing Manager. He was really genuinely friendly and I enjoyed talking to him about his varied career and hearing more about the company ethos. I got to speak to some other members of staff who were as equally welcoming. It was a really fantastic safe environment for Law students to tentatively attempt networking.
The Harrison Drury team had no expectations of us and were genuinely trying to help us by providing a real networking experience. Whilst lecturers at Law School have tried explain how to network in a classroom environment the real thing was always going to be different. I’ve learnt that I am not very good at excusing myself from one conversation to go and talk to someone else, so this is a skill I will need to work on.
Everyone was really happy to share their own networking experiences and their do’s and don’ts. Including do not excuse yourself to go to the toilet then walk off to the middle of the room to talk to other people. It’s always helpful to hear about different people’s real life world experience. I left the event really excited and looking forward to tackling more networking.
Kallen Jenkin (1st year Law with Criminology student)
As a first-year mature student I am hoping to achieve a career as a solicitor. I was lucky enough to be one of a small group of students invited to attend the Young Leaders Network hosted by Harrison Drury.
I volunteered for this event as I am keen to gain as much networking experience as possible. Upon arrival, I was given a name tag and greeted by Marketing Manager Kris who instantly made me feel at home and directed me to the buffet and a glass of water; which was much appreciated as I was dressed in a suit on such a warm day!
I had some really interesting conversations about social media and body language with Kris. Kris also gave advice on knowing how and when to end a conversation and excuse yourself, in order to move on to speak with someone else in the room. Next, I spoke with Rebecca who specialises in Family Law which was particularly interesting to me as I have chosen to study Family Law and the Law Relating to Children in my second year. Rebecca explained her route to where she is today which was very insightful. Finally, I chatted with Alex. Although Alex practices Commercial Property which is not of immediate interest to me we had a conversation about our love of music and our love of guitar.
The experience overall was tremendously rewarding, and I was made to feel confident and comfortable in a situation I was initially nervous about attending.
Thank you to everyone from Harrison Drury who attended the event and helped make the evening a big success and of course, thanks to the students who overcame their nerves and took part, I hope you all found it worthwhile and see you at future events.
Simon Price is a Senior Lecturer in Innovation and Employability at Lancashire Law School and is part of the school’s employability team.