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St Mary's Law Forum 2017 Explores ‘Challenges for the legal profession’

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St Mary's Law Forum 2017 Explores ‘Challenges for the legal profession’

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School of Management and Social Sciences


On Thursday 19th October 2017 students from the LLB LawLLB Law with Criminology and BA Business Law Programmes at St Mary’s University, Twickenham, were joined by an esteemed panel of legal professionals for an evening of inspiration, discussion and networking. This year’s panel included:

  • Amaka Jackson: Managing Solicitor, Jackson Longe Solicitors
  • Evelyn Ofori-Koree: Principal Solicitor and Director, Descartes Solicitors. Immigration Law seat on Law Society Council and Committee Member of the Law Society Ethnic Minority Division
  • James Hutchens: St Mary’s LLB Law Graduate, Communications Officer, Aspiring Solicitors, future trainee solicitor at Dechert LLP
  • Jason Smalley: General Counsel and Company Secretary, Visiting Senior Fellow St Mary’s University
  • Krishna Mahajan: Associate Solicitor, Charles Russell Speechlys
  • Lily Meyer: Solicitor, Morrisons Solicitors
  • Sebastian Blomeier: St Mary’s LLB Law Graduate, future trainee solicitor at Clyde & Co
Law forum 2017 - Panel
Image: Law forum 2017 - Panel

Students from every year group were in attendance on the night, as well as postgraduate students and prospective applicants from Open Day events - who were warmly invited to join the event and take part in the discussions.

Students attending Law Forum 2017
Image: Students attending Law Forum 2017

The panellists were asked to speak for 10 minutes each about their role within the legal profession and to share their experiences of both training and practice. The panel was convened and chaired by Lloyd Gash, Lecturer in Law. Following the talks students were given the chance to ask questions from the floor, with refreshments and time to network with the speakers following the formal event. 

Academics from the St Mary’s Law Programme Team recognise and value the programmes’ important links with the panellists, as members of the legal profession giving up their time to share their expertise with students.

This year’s Law Forum was the fourth annual event of its kind to be held on campus at St Mary’s, and it was particularly encouraging to note that of the organisations represented on the panel, a majority currently have St Mary’s law students on work placements.

Events such as the Law Forum are designed to deepen the relationships between the Law Programme, and external partners and friends for the benefit of the University’s current students and alumni.

Lloyd Gash commented, “The Law Forum panellists represented a rich and diverse range of professional backgrounds – from future trainees to newly-qualified regional and city associates, law firm owners and in-house counsel. I was delighted to be able to convene and chair such an inspirational panel. We really appreciate their generosity in sharing their experiences with us, and value our ongoing relationships with them.”

"...I was delighted to be able to convene and chair such an inspirational panel." Lloyd Gash
Lloyd Gash chairs the event
Image: Lloyd Gash chairs the event

Law Programme Director, Jenny Henry, added, “The Law Forum was a good example of St Mary’s Law Programmes’ community of students engaging actively with the wider legal community, represented by the excellent panel members, who kindly gave up their time to share their tips for attaining a  successful career in law.

“A strong message of being tenacious when facing the challenges posed by trying to enter the legal profession now, coupled with an appreciation of the various routes to success, which shone through in the panel’s interesting and diverse experiences and career ‘journeys’. Many students commented on how they found the evening highly motivating and informative.”

"The Law Forum was a good example of St Mary’s Law Programmes’ community of students engaging actively with the wider legal community." Jenny Henry

Evelyn Ofori-Koree, Principal Solicitor and Director of Descartes Solicitors and Committee Member of the Law Society Ethnic Minority Division who sat on the panel, said: “I was extremely impressed by the organisation and turnout for the Law Forum. The clear message from prospective, current and former law students alike was that academic, pastoral and practical support on offer at St Mary's University is second to none.”

"The clear message from prospective, current and former law students alike was that academic, pastoral and practical support on offer at St Mary's University is second to none.” Evelyn Ofori-Koree

St Mary’s Careers Advisor, Oby Oputa, who together with Lloyd Gash convened some practical pre-Forum workshops with students on interviewing and networking, added: “I think it was brilliant that the Law students had access to panellists that represented the breadth of the legal profession well.

“The panellists embodied the traits, vision and abilities that we want to nurture and inspire in our students, to raise their aspirations, and I think that came across at the event. The students did St Mary’s proud, demonstrating both the skills and mentality to articulate and represent themselves, and readily seized networking opportunities with the panellists after the event had finished. The Law Forum for me represented the close relations the university tries to nurture with employers to inform and enhance teaching and practice, to support students develop their employability and career readiness.”

Students at Law Forum 2017
Image: Students at Law Forum 2017
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