By Anjali Shah
Hello to all the readers of The Legal Amity! My name is Anjali Shah. I am currently 20 years old. I am a third-year Law student at City University of London.
As my first legal blog post, I wanted to begin by giving you readers a general idea into myself and my thought process. This being the who, what, where, when, and why, I decided the legal world is where I want to be for the rest of my growing life, and that it is the career I want to head towards. Now that you have already started, carry on reading, get comfortable, and join me into my journey with the ups and the downs, as a London based law student. Everything written is purely factual!
I am going to take it right back to where it all began. Out of the 5 W's, I want to start with the 'WHY' first.
From a very young age, I have always had an interest in the ins and outs of crime and deviance – from the books I read to the shows I watched, I could not tear myself and my obsession away from it. I would pick up book after book, read magazine after magazine which had eye-catching titles that drew me in more and more. The shows I watched furthered my interest more; these shows had a recurring theme, such as unsolved mysteries and true crime.
Who was my inspiration? A good question with only one answer. Myself. I jumped from career choices multiple times – from palaeontology, a forensic scientist, to a solicitor. Since I have had spent a lot of my younger years reading, I was prepared for what to experience as I grew older and continued through into the education system of the UK.
What made me want to get into law was primarily my desire to solve problems, as complex as they may be, and help out in any given situation. I was always someone intrigued into learning/achieving and gaining justice and to cement a better understanding of why this was so important. Therefore, my interest grew as I grew. I have a strong stance for morals and acting upon such an ideal, and so my passion for this will always remain close to my heart.
As mentioned previously, my interest started young, however, enjoying the knowledge and passion for subjects and areas such as crime was not enough to want to have a career into it. I figured that out when I had criminal law as a module in university. As someone who was obsessed with crime, it was definitely different from the information shown from TV shows!
I settled with law into the early stages of sixth form – were the subjects I picked only manifested more that I was fit for subjects that involved lots of background knowledge and commitment to the books!
I want to entail my experiences dealing with the law and my first ever one began at the age of 16 after I had completed my GCSE's.
I did one-week work experience with Metro Law solicitors, working beside a small team, in a high street law firm. The experience I had here was worth-while, especially it being my first step into working in a legal environment and getting a sense of the day-to-day activities and protocols that occur.
At Metro Law, I began by shadowing my colleagues. By doing this, I was able to learn a lot about their case to case management and the reports that would be filed. This helped me to learn about the obvious importance of organisation. By getting the idea of what goes where I was able to complete the same tasks and I would fill in lengthy yet important forms. Additionally, I was sending chase up letters to the Home Office, and to clients who needed to supply information that was to support/complete their case. At Metro Law, I was dealing with Immigration cases. I had the opportunity to sit in meetings and take notes and experienced going to the Royal Courts of Justice to submit a file. This was a great experience overall as it taught me the legalities surrounding cases and seeing the tasks that surround cases whether that ends up in asylum circumstances or not. As having my first experience in Immigration, I found it touching. Hearing
what an ordinary person was going through, and their stories being so moving, it made me enjoy the client confidence and connections that stem from helping people, and this was why I enjoyed the time I had where I was able to work upon somebody's case to ensure I was doing as much as possible to get their circumstance one step closer to their ideal justice.
Being only 16, I was able to learn what I did well and what I did not so well. I want to describe my stories honestly, so others can see my journey for what it is and relate where possible. I will say exactly what feedback I obtained and the tips I took from it. I believe it is a learning curve we should all work upon, rather than disregard. One of the constructive criticisms I received was that I should put myself forward more. This meaning to grab opportunities wherever I can, as this will open many doors for me. I took this away with me and it is definitely something I use to this day, to motivate and push me further outside of my comfort zone. Whether it works out the way I hoped, I have learned that I rather try and fail, rather than not try at all. For me, this has created me into the person I am today and has opened many pathways!
Having a high-street work experience was something I was able to tick off the list, as compared to what I may be faced with down the line, whether it is another high street firm of a completely different speciality or even a city-based firm, I was able to see how this firm, in particular, was tailored to their clients' needs.
Where I am at currently and what I will discuss further:
Finished 2 virtual internship experiences
Applying for legal work experiences
In the process of Legal Cheek/Watson Daily Ambassador tasks
Learning DVLA theory
Did you have any memorable legal experiences? How did you implement what you gained going forward?