“Realise my aptitude for this career, and how I can go about pursuing it.”
We hear from Myah Ojla, who took part in a work experience PRIME programme in 2019, run by Clifford Chance.
Where and when did you do your experience?
I did my work experience with Clifford Chance LLB in Canary Wharf, London.
Tell us a little about the application process?
I completed a written application process, and the Watson Glaser critical thinking test. For my stage of education and experience, I felt that this was an ideal screening process because it was a great introduction to recruitment processes, it enabled me to allow my personality to shine through the written answers and, most importantly, at the time it wasn’t too intimidating to do because there were no interviews!
What tips would you give a student thinking of applying for work experience in a law firm?
Understand the services the firm delivers and who their clients are, research the law firm’s speciality areas, and reach out to someone who has completed the placement before for advice – almost everyone is really approachable and willing to help.
How did you feel when you were told you had a place?
Over the moon! I was so excited to have an unparalleled opportunity to gain a first-hand insight to a law firm and be able to network with both professionals and like-minded students.
In no more than three words, sum up your work experience.
Uplifting, engaging, informative
What was the best part of your work experience and why?
My favourite part of work experience was getting involved in group projects. I enjoyed the intellectual challenge of analysing a problem and providing a solution. Secondly, I enjoyed working in a team as this allowed me to make friends, and jointly produce a great piece of work. Lastly, the soft skills gained from the group presentation such as public speaking, organisation and time management heightened my professional development.
What did your work experience cover?
M&A business challenge (pitching to a panel of judges); analysing legislation to a case study, personal development workshops; hearing from a range of lawyers including: law firm solicitors, in-house solicitors and barristers; networking lunches; mock interviews.
What do you know now that you didn’t know before about the law?
From a case study, I learned how automatic rollover contract legislation would apply to a client caught up in litigation.
What surprised you most about your work experience?
How friendly and approachable everyone was! I felt quite nervous initially, but everyone was really welcoming and supportive. The environment at the law firm was incredibly uplifting!
What tips would you give a student preparing for their work experience?
Write a list of skills you’d like to develop. Then, during your work placement, you can take initiative to volunteer yourself forward for any opportunities e.g. public speaking. I would also suggest having professional outfits that you feel comfortable and empowered in, as this can make you feel more confident.
Why do you want a career in law?
I would like a career in law because I like the intellectual challenge of problem solving and facilitating a service for a client. I enjoy keeping up with current affairs and I am fascinated by how market news affects the economy, so a career in commercial law enables me to work first-hand in large deals such as M&A which affects the economy around us.
Tell us a little about the mentoring part of your experience.
Mentoring has been a wonderful experience – I am able to reach out to my mentor for guidance with university applications and professional development. My mentor has shared their experience of the journey into law, which has helped me envision the route to take. In addition, my mentor has given me advice on a good work-life balance which has really helped me to get into a good routine with studying, which I can then transfer to my future working life.
PRIME has helped me to…
Build my knowledge of pathways to commercial law and understanding the work that commercial law entails. It has helped me realise my aptitude for this career, and how I can go about pursuing it. PRIME has also helped me to build my professional skills; I was able to develop skills such as public speaking, analytical thinking and teamwork. Lastly, PRIME has helped me to expand my network as I have built great rapports with professionals as well as made long-lasting friendships with my peers.