By Eleanor Barnett, All Saints Secondary School (York), Young Lawyer Alumnus 2017

I recently spent nine hours in London for InvestIN’s Young Lawyer Programme. As a 16 year old from York going into London for the first time in my life, I didn’t know what to expect and I was excited but also quite anxious about the programme. But from the outset I was given a warm welcome (despite my being embarrassingly late due to train delays!) and my nerves began to settle.

I’d come here on my own but soon found myself talking to the people around me, and any social concerns I had about the day were forgotten by the second hour. Honestly, many parts of the day were very interesting, but also challenging for me to get my head around, and I often found myself reading through the material two or three times before I fully understood it (although this could have been because I had been awake since 5:30am!). Nevertheless, all the professionals worked through our case studies at an ideal pace and despite our full schedule, I never felt too rushed to find an answer. We were given handouts of the PowerPoint slides, so even if I had been rushed or too confused to answer something, I can always go back through the notes in my own time – which I have already done, truth be told.

As a budding barrister, I found our second case study, which included a mock trial, the most helpful (and enjoyable) in terms of gaining experience and insight into the work of a barrister. Similarly, the panel Q&A at the end of the day gave me great advice on where to go from here, and notably allowed me to hear answers to questions that I hadn’t thought to ask, as well as my own. Ultimately, the main thing I have taken away from this programme is that although the next few years of my life will probably be difficult and uncertain, after listening to these lawyers I feel more prepared for the challenges that lie ahead. Before attending this programme, my main fear for the future had been that I am likely to struggle financially, which will be the main obstacle for me. This remains an issue, of course, however I now also have a refreshing feeling of confidence that law is the best career path for me to take, and knowing that I can now contact InvestIN for advice throughout my career is a great comfort; one which I am extremely grateful for.

In short, I cannot stress enough how fantastic this first day in London has been for me – I’d encourage anyone with a desire to enter the legal profession to seriously consider signing up for the Young Lawyer Programme – I find it immensely difficult to imagine that anyone could regret turning up. The day has been invaluable to me and I’d like to thank all the professionals for organising the day and taking the time to talk to us!

Click here to learn more about The Young Lawyer Programme.

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