by Alexandra Woolley and Paige Evans, final year LLB Law Students
As two final-year law students, the importance of networking has become apparent as we exit from the comforts of education into the world of work. This being the case, we have been taking every opportunity to learn from influential people through the events that have been set up for us by Coventry Law School.
Getting the chance to hear I. Stephanie Boyce talk about her journey to becoming the first person of colour President of the Law Society was extremely inspirational. Her sheer determination to not let obstacles stop her from where she wanted to be had us awestruck. It was an honor to hear her story. It was clear to see her passion for inspiring the next generation of lawyers from all backgrounds.
Stephanie’s position as head of The Law Society highlights not only the importance of inclusivity but how valuable visibility is. As the next generation of lawyers, it is vital to be able to see someone that is different from the typical image of a lawyer. All of Stephanie’s work and achievements have spearheaded a change in the right direction for future lawyers. By her extremely inspirational position in the industry, it shows everybody that no matter what background they come from, they can battle obstacles, be resilient and shine just as they deserve to. She also offered a fresh perspective, compared to many messages surrounding women in law that they wouldn’t be hired, or nobody would see their value in larger firms.
The main point to take away from Stephanie’s talk is that one of the most important skills to develop is resilience and not listening to people that doubt your abilities. It does not matter if you do not fit into the typical image of a certain career, it is based on your skills, your values and your determination. No matter your background, no matter where other people think you should fit or how many people tell you that you cannot do something, you can be a success.
Building our network has become of paramount importance as we leave behind the education setting we have grown so accustomed to. It is well known, especially in the legal sector, that you can have extremely high grades and know the law like the back of your hand, but who you know is just as important. Networking helps us evolve as people, not just professionals. Learning from others and hearing about different backgrounds can only bring us closer and learning from our peers is not only vital, but incredibly interesting. Having different perspectives and sharing our ideas and passions helps the world around us to grow.
Graduating is also an extremely daunting thought to many people. Having been in education for 16 years and not knowing the realities of going into an entirely new profession can be really difficult without the right guidance and support that networking can offer. Learning to network is an extremely valuable skill due to how much you gain from hearing from other people’s experiences. Any mistakes they have made or any advice they have about how to manage the more stressful areas of their careers is an opportunity to learn and develop your own methods.
Hearing Stephanie’s story has been a true inspiration to us, and to so many others. She is a figurehead for a new image of what the law can be, and a signpost to many others that no matter your gender, background or ethnic minority, you should strive to achieve your best.
Interested in studying law with us and want to hear more about the wonderful guest speaker opportunities on offer to students? Our Law LLB course LLM Law, LLM International Commercial Law and LLM International Human Rights Law courses offer our students a host of opportunities to develop their own professional networks.