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Emma is a trainee solicitor for the top 50 UK law firm, Mills and Reeve - a training contract she lined up before she even graduated from her law degree. She shares her top tips for getting ahead in the legal industry.
Being persistent, hard working, friendly and approachable has helped Emma get ahead in a prestigious and competitive legal profession. Her determination and self belief have been key to her success.
Getting stuck into every aspect of university life has set Emma apart from the crowd. She worked as a Student Ambassador during her time here and even won the Vice-Chancellor and Students’ Union President’s Award at our Extra Mile Awards.
How can you get the most out of your course?
I’d advise students to always say yes to things and take part in as much as you possibly can. Don’t just go in for lectures and seminars, take part in other things as well. Getting to know more people at university, especially those who aren’t on your course, will really benefit you by improving your communication and social skills - and it’s the way to have fun at university too!.
These people you meet could be the people that you end up working with or that you want advice from in the future. So always just take part in as much as you can because this is going to build up your network for the future.
What are the key skills for a career in law?
You always have to be quite sociable – a lot of bringing in the business in law is about being approachable, friendly and knowing how to network with other people. So having good communication and social skills is quite key.
What advice would you give a 16 year old wanting a career in your industry?
Be professional from a young age. Always think of the future and the impression you want to give. Your A Levels, your first part-time job, your hobbies, your interests outside of academics – they all count.
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LLB (Hons) Law
Studying law at Birmingham City University was an obvious choice for Emma - she could stay near to home and benefit from being in the UK's second city.
The course exceeded my expectations by a mile. I got stuck in, worked very hard and realised it's possible to achieve your goals and make your dreams become reality.
I did a vacation scheme placement with Mills and Reeve. I helped with the day-to-day work of solicitors and partners in four different departments. This placement proved very beneficial as it resulted in the training contract I started in 2015.
There weren't many things about the course that I didn’t enjoy. I really liked the fact that I was challenged by my work and that it's relevant in society.
The staff are phenomenal in their profession. They've got a lot of background knowledge and tips they can share - so use them, be nice to them and work hard.