Our latest law seminar comprised a barrister (James Davison, 3BP); a solicitor (Neil Cuffe, Judge& Priestly) and a mediator (Gina Shim, CEDR). The panel was expertly chaired by GSM law department’s Dr Michael Reynolds.
This seminar sought to give our students are real insight into the daily working lives of 3 overlapping yet very distinct branches of the legal profession- something that you just can’t find in a text book! The session was designed to be highly interactive, with hand outs and the opportunity to ask lots of questions.
Before the panel members started their talks, Dr Michael Reynolds stressed the global nature of law- it was right that he did as his audience were the global lawyers of the future. He inspired the audience to think globally while remaining realistic about the increasing competition for jobs.
Neil Cuffe packed his 20 minutes with some great anecdotes- particularly memorable were his recollections about his time as Head of Corporate Law for Gold Fields, a South African-based international mining conglomerate. Neil’s personable way of speaking was a real hit with the students and he always gave them a learning point from his own experience whether it be the need for flexibility or the importance of cross-cultural communication skills.
Next up was Gina Shim. Gina came well prepared with some very informative hand outs about the nature of her work. The students clearly appreciated this as the work of mediators is shrouded in some mystery. Gina did a great job in demystifying the process of mediation by drawing on her extensive experience in adjudicating consumer law disputes.
And then came the barrister, James Davison, who immediately put to good use the eloquence that you would expect from a member of counsel for one of the UK’s leading construction consultancies. James clearly opened the eyes of a number of students by giving lots of reasons why barristers don’t all wear wigs and long black gowns!
A hearty round of applause brought the whole session to an end and then we all headed off for some light refreshments, mingling and one or two photo opportunities.
Feedback from students on the night highlighted the importance of the interactive nature of this seminar; and that sharing ideas had (I hope!) snowballed new approaches for students own career aspirations, and learning styles.
GSMLawCareers events will return in 2014……