What is your experience of being in education?
After completing my A Level’s at a comprehensive school in Wolverhampton, I studied History and European Studies at Nottingham Trent University. During the summer of my first year I worked as a uni-temp at the University of Wolverhampton. It was an excellent opportunity as I was able to work in a number of different departments within the university. Over the next three summers I worked for the school of nursing and midwifery and in the law school helping out with the clearing process. When I completed my degree I was offered a permanent role, but turned it down to follow the bright lights of London.
What does your current role at DWF entail?
I am the Graduate Recruitment Manager for DWF and I have overall responsible for firm's trainee solicitors. This includes all related recruitment activity for DWF offices in England and Scotland. I have ownership of the firm's key university recruitment relationships, building relationships with careers/recruitment advisers and implementing the firm's attraction strategy. After the firm has recruited its yearly trainee intake I also co-ordinate the trainee solicitor programme, including seat rotation, qualification and mid seat reviews. I also provide pastoral support for trainees at the firm.
What has been the biggest challenge to the sector in the last 12 months?
The cost of university education has dramatically increased over the last few years and many potential candidates have started looking at alternative career paths. In turn, there has been a huge increase in high calibre candidates not pursuing university degrees. In order to capitalise on this talent pool many organisations, DWF included, have started investing in apprenticeship schemes. The sector as a whole is starting to pair academic study with work based learning. Universities are also offering a range of employability skills and work placement opportunities which is serving to help improve candidate’s skills as they enter the workplace.
Where do you see the sector going?
The challenges linked to the cost of university education aren't going away anytime soon, and many students will view apprenticeships as an increasingly popular career path. Universities will ultimately have to continue increasing the employability skills courses and initiatives offered to students so they can compete with apprentices who will have amassed many workplace skills. I advise potential candidates to undertake as many work experiences and extra curricular activities as possible to demonstrate their skills and commitment. The sector needs to provide students with these possibilities to help students reach their full potential.
If your organisation is interested in further information about DWF's recruitment cycle or assistance with providing your students with employability skills then email firstname.lastname@example.org.This information is intended as a general discussion surrounding the topics covered and is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking legal advice. DWF is not responsible for any activity undertaken based on this information.