Law students need something more than just law school – Student project at www.roadtrafficlaw.com
As a graduate from the University of Glasgow I was extremely lucky to have had a first career in business and marketing and returned aged 36 to study law. However not all law students come with a ‘life before law bunch of experience’.
As Business development manager at roadtrafficlaw.com solicitors in Glasgow I set up a program for law students which has helped give them skills that they don’t learn at law school. It’s been running for 6 months and has been a huge success.
Convincing Graham Walker senior partner of http://www.roadtrafficlaw.com to open the doors to law students took some initial persuasion but I argued for the future of the profession and swore to oversee the project personally something which he has held me to.
We launched in April 2010 and so far we have had 9 students from various universities and at different stages of legal training joining us for a brilliant learning experience. You might, with all the bad press lately about the exploitation of students think that we were looking for a cheap workforce, but this could not be further from the truth.
With my extensive business background and my unique role in www.roadtrafficlaw.com I personally worked with each of the students on a one to one basis explaining how a small law firm operates and how I manage our caseloads, business development, marketing etc.
We involved the students in a range of wonderful team activities including filming testimonials which was a lot of fun for the students. Armed with professional cameras we met with many happy clients and they experiences first hand what our clients say about us.
I introduced the students to social media and explained what it is and ‘how we use it’ in our firm. The biggest shock to all of them was how many lawyers are using social media and what they are using social media for.
We involve our students in our case management system which lets them follow the progress of a case from start to finish and let them take part in discussion about real cases including extensive research in the area of road traffic law.
One of our students was so enthusiastic that she spent her holidays researching defences for a particularly interesting and complicated case.
Our students enjoy the atmosphere at roadtrafficlaw and have all felt that they have taken something from the project which they can add to their CV and of course a reference which all of our students value.
As Court solicitors our team appear in all the courts around Scotland from the borders to the Highlands and Islands and there is never a dull day here.
Recognising the challenging market for students including paralegal students we currently have a student on placement that has just completed a HND in Legal studies too.
I am delighted that @Alistair_Sloan an undergraduate law student of the University of Stirling enjoyed his day today shadowing Kirsten Ferguson LLB of roadtrafficlaw in Glasgow Sheriff Court and hope he will enjoy some more placement time with us.
Law students need extra skills and they need to see what the ‘real’ world of law is like and we are trying to help them.
Graham Walker fully supports my project and all of our students and as always I am on hand to help them with my experience and passion for law.
Michelle Hynes-McIlroy LLB (Hons)