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High Tide Foundation Law Experience Week at Jacksons – Student blog No 2

Posted on 15th August, 2019

We are delighted to announce that Lily Gilpin from Prior Pursglove College takes 2nd prize for writing a great blog on her day at Jacksons during High Tide Foundation’s Law Experience Week.

From a young age I have been interested in the law and justice. When I joined Prior Pursglove College and sixth form in 2018, my passion for the law widened and I discovered that this is the sector that I wanted to spend my life in. When I got the opportunity to do some work experience in the sector I jumped at the opportunity.

The opportunity allowed me to experience life at Jacksons Law Firm for a day. As this was my first time in a law firm, I was undoubtably nervous. Yet, I was instantly eased by the welcoming atmosphere at the firm. We were greeted by the firm’s trainee solicitors who are on training contracts at the firm and the managing partner, Jane Armitage.

Jane introduced us to the firm and herself, explaining her journey into law and the lessons she has learned along the way. From listening to her story, Jane made me realise how the limitations that sometimes women face, can be over come in this often man-dominated sector. With over 25 years’ experience in the sector, Jane has become managing partner of the firm and has inspired me to pursue the career I want in the industry.

After listening to Jane’s experiences, we listened to the trainee solicitors at the firm and how they themselves got to where they are today. They provided insights into all the different routes they took regarding university and their work experience. The answered questions that we had regarding the courses they took and reaffirmed my choices of Northumbria university. I was shown that no matter the circumstances I could achieve my dreams through their stories.

We took part in ice breaker activities to introduce each other to the group which provided a lot of information regarding foreign law. As this is an area that I am not familiar with it provided an insight to that which was very informative.

We were then asked to prepare a short presentation regarding recent law in England and Wales. This activity provided the group with skills such as researching and public speaking. The topic I focused my presentation on was the 1824 Vagrancy Act which allows the homeless and rough sleepers to be prosecuted. I felt this activity gave us insights as to what it would be like if we did work in a law firm as it included research and writing up documents to present. Therefore, giving us further useful skills.

Once the presentations were complete, we began preparation for a mock trial. By being split up into prosecution and defence, we were allocated a side and provided with some information regarding the case. The case was similar to what we may have to handle if we were to become solicitors. The trainees acted as witness and the defendant and we interviewed them like we would in a real-life situation. We then proceeded to present our cases in our mock trial in front of a judge who was acted as by Toby Joel, a partner at the firm. After presenting opening statements, we questioned and cross examined all the witnesses and the defendant herself. After closing statements, the judge voted in favour of the defence meaning that the side I was on, won.

Overall, I had a really informative and great experience at Jacksons Law Firm. I would highly recommend work experience at Jacksons. Through providing a friendly environment it is the perfect insight into what life is really like at a law firm. I would like to thank Jacksons for such a great day.

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