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Manchester High School for Girls

MHSG shares the lowdown on Law

On Monday 14th December, we welcomed over 100 guests to our second virtual ‘Insight Into’ careers talk of 2020 to find out more about a career in Law from those who have experience in this extensive industry.

The event was part of the School’s series of ‘Insight Into’ careers talks, whereby alumnae and industry professionals are invited to present an overview of their chosen career to an audience of students and their parents, from MHSG and the wider Manchester community.

Speaking from their own homes, our four speakers shared a wealth of knowledge, from being a student in Law School through to becoming a Bencher of Gray’s Inn.

As a Senior Partner at JMW Solicitors, Joy Kingsley (Class of 1974 and MHSG governor) kicked off our evening. Joining MHSG in the prep at age 5, Joy went on to university before starting work at what is now Pannone. After 30 years with the company in a variety of roles, Joy became MD with responsibility for over 750 employees, and extolled the virtues of having a broad knowledge and experience base within law, and not becoming too specialised too early. Now, one of Joy’s many tasks as Senior Partner is supporting trainee recruitment, reading and sifting through over 350 applications for a programme with only 15 spaces.

Next up was Marissa Oluwadare (Class of 2018) who is currently a final year undergraduate Law student at University of Nottingham. Marissa gave our prospective lawyers, barristers and solicitors an idea of what is involved in the university application process, from how the LNAT (Law National Aptitude Test) works and the importance of reading, to the interview process, and the schedule of work involved to put yourself in the best position to be accepted onto your university course of choice.

A Barrister specialising in family law, Amy Stout (Class of 2013) gave us a fantastic overview of her role, and the key difference between being a Barrister and a Solicitor: advocacy. Following a degree in History at Leeds University, Amy used her transferable skills and completed her GDL (Graduate Diploma in Law). Looking for a working day with lots of variety, she then applied to the Bar to become a barrister and complete her year’s pupillage. With four types of law to choose from, (commercial, civil, criminal and family), it was at this point Amy decided to specialise  in family law, working on everything from safeguarding children and domestic violence to divorce proceedings. Amy stressed  the importance of using your school holidays well, telling our audience to use this time to think about what really interests you and what doesn’t, and get some experience under your belt.

The evening closed on a high with Sally Penni MBE, a Barrister with over 20 years’ experience in Criminal and Employment Law. Sally is a proud Black-British woman and champion for equality and diversity in her field. She started by encouraging everyone to think of the Pankhurst motto ‘Deeds Not Words’ and so to “come to the Bar!”. Sally explained how much we need young people to enter a career in Law, not only for the traditional areas we know of already, but also to support the ever growing and evolving laws arising from new apps such as Instagram and Snapchat. Since reading Law at University, Sally has had a varied and distinguished career as a Barrister, and explained that a key feature of her role was defending and prosecuting in criminal cases – and keeping people awake and engaged at a tribunal!

All four speakers agreed that a career in Law is one that has something for everyone, as long as you like reading!

If you were not able to attend this talk, you are now able to watch this insightful event in full here:

The next talk in the series is ‘Insight Into…Performing Arts’, which will take place on Tuesday 26th January at 6pm on Teams. To register please click here: