As a UK law firm with offices in six different locations, we understand the importance of finding the very best talent in our local communities and of building deep and long-lasting relationships with the outstanding universities in our local areas.
I have had the privilege of being involved in developing one such partnership with Brunel University London, based in Uxbridge, West London, over the past few years.
I have to confess to a prior connection with Brunel as it’s where I graduated, and that gave me some special insight into the ways in which Brunel and Blake Morgan could work effectively together to provide opportunities for students looking for a career in the Law.
I’ve been the Trainee Regional Partner in London for the past five years or so and that’s given me an opportunity to meet many trainees and to help them shape their careers. It has also given me an understanding of the challenges that exist when looking for that often elusive training contract opportunity.
I started to think about ways in which we could provide some additional opportunities for students and that thought process led me to speak with Professor Arad Reisberg, Head of the Law School at Brunel, and Bridget Lavin, Brunel’s Legal Careers Advisor.
With the help of our Graduate Recruitment specialists, we have been able to find a number of ways to support Brunel and their students, including offering an eight-week internship in our London office and work experience placements to allow students to boost their applications with some fantastic hands-on experience at a City firm and, of course, to get to know Blake Morgan too in a number of ways, including through our Campus Brand Ambassador scheme.
With the number of routes to qualification now available, and the Solicitors Qualifying Examination due to come in next year, it is even more important for universities, their careers teams and employers to work together to offer students the best possible advice and guidance from partners, trainees and those who have recently qualified, on how to make the most of the opportunities they get, whether that is a vacation scheme, assessment centre or a training contract.
This is why we wanted to support Brunel’s Law School Mentoring Programme. We have participated for the past three years and provide a number of mentors from both our London and Reading offices. With the help of Bridget and Brunel’s Careers team, we have nurtured these relationships with in-house launch events to help bridge the gap between student and professional life to help students reach their full potential.
I truly believe these relationships are invaluable for our mentors as well as the students.