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Law Careers Event Inspires Future Legal Minds at JMW Offices

In a bid to inspire and educate the legal minds of tomorrow, State Talking recently hosted its first joint school event, Talking Law. 

30 pupils across three GM based High Schools got the chance to hear and learn from Law industry professionals in the JMW Offices in Spinningfields, the sponsor for the event. 

Throughout the day, pupils heard from a range of speakers, each shedding light on diverse careers paths within the legal sector. 

JMW CEO Chris Sutton shared his personal journey, dispelling common misconceptions surrounding the accessibility of legal careers. Drawing from his own experiences as a work experience intern, Chris highlighted the significance of hard work and determination over anything else.

“What JMW wants are the best people. They don’t come from any specific background, or look a certain way. The best people are people that work hard.”

JMW Solicitor Paddy Boyers was another of the speakers, sharing with pupils how important events like this really are.

“I remember being your age with all these questions pinning around in my head, and I was trying to find someone to ask them to.”

From University courses, to work experience placements, Paddy detailed all the different routes that you can take to get into a career in law, and specifically highlighted what comes after University.

“When you ask someone about a career in law, they will usually come and tell you where they went to school, or what they did for education, but it’s just as important to understand how you get into the industry after you’ve got your qualifications.”

Grace Rothery, MD at ENSEK, provided perspective on the versatility of a law degree, showcasing the various career opportunities it can unlock beyond traditional legal practice.

Grace studied Law at University of Leeds before going on to train and become a solicitor for Addleshaw Goddard. However, Grace then took the transferable skills she gained from that process, and applied it to her career as a business leader.

“The skills you gain from a law degree give you a great foothold to be a leader. The resilience and commitment to focus really takes you a long way.”

A highlight of the event was the interactive case study session led by keynote speaker Barrister Dr Sally Penni MBE LLE. The study provided a glimpse into the complexities of real-world legal scenarios, and pupils got the chance to hone their analytical and problem-solving skills under Sally’s expert guidance.

As the event drew to a close, Sally left pupils with some words of advice: “If you want to achieve something, all you can do is put your best foot forward and do the very best you can. You are the success of your own story.”

Ayesha Qureshi, Careers lead at Levenshulme School said: “Thank you to StateTalking for organising an engaging and inspiring law event. Students enjoyed listening to the different career journeys of the speakers and to see that anyone can break the barriers and choose a career that they are passionate about. The speakers spoke with great passion about their career pathway whilst breaking the stereotypes and showcasing the opportunities one can have in law as a career. The role play activity by Dr Sally Penni went down well as it gave the students a realistic setting for a court and how it works. Having the event at a law firm added to the overall experience as students got to see JMW offices and also met their CEO.”

Fran Kennedy, State Talking said: “We believe that every young person has potential. Through events like this, State Talking aims to ignite a passion for learning and empower the next generation of legal trailblazers to dream big and achieve even bigger. Thank you to JMW for their support in making the first State Talking careers event a success.”