Written by Lucy Irving
On Thursday the 10th of March, a Law Formal was held at St John’s, providing an invaluable experience for students and alumni to form connections and gain insider information about the law industry.
Over a year ago, during the pandemic, John’s staff were busy separating households, handing out isolation meals and keeping students as safe as possible. You can imagine then, when they received an email from first year law student, Nick Tan, writing to ask about hosting a law event to connect aspiring lawyers to alumni of the college, the email soon fell to the bottom of the pile. However, with restrictions now lifted, a law formal was recently held with some inspirational Johnians.
After speaking with several individuals over the course of the evening, I came to note a recurring theme; the grade you get on your degree certificate is not only aspect of a law application, instead how well-rounded a person you are is also taken into consideration. Before the meal, a Panel Discussion was held in the Tristram Room, and a question was posed to all students: what do you do in your free time? This question demonstrated that in a competitive job market, the extra aspect of your personality is what gives you the edge. Alumnus Richard Roberts (Senior Director at Gedye and Sons Solicitors Limited) gave an insight into his time at John’s, where he was interviewed by Leo Blair (a certain politician’s dad!) in 1976. He spoke about how he looks to hire people who can hold a dinner table conversation and that extra-curriculars are important, hence why he funds the University’s Student Art Prize, which encourages students to be creative outside of their degree.
There was also a reminder that the pathway to law can vary. Chris Sherwin (now working at Astra Zeneca) studied modern languages before falling into the path of law, reminding students attending the formal who studied politics and marketing that the route into law is different for everybody.
Overall, the evening proved truly insightful to aspiring lawyers at St John’s whilst also being nostalgic to alumni who returned through those big blue doors with life experience worth sharing.