Sir Francis Gawdy Law Prize winner Jessica Coventry (U6E) writes about winning the chance for a week’s work experience at Ashton KCJ and her plans for a future career in the profession:
The possibility of a career in law has interested me since I did a work experience placement in a law firm when I was 14. However, as school student, I was never really able to explore the various avenues open to you through choosing a career in law. Being in the last year of school where the topics on everyone’s minds are ‘where shall I go?’ and ‘What shall I do?’ I welcomed the opportunity of applying for the law prize in an attempt to gain some clarity.
I initially became aware of the prize when an email was sent around my year calling ‘L6 potential lawyers.’ The email explained that the ‘Sir Francis Gawdy Law Prize’ was the opportunity to be awarded a week’s work experience at Ashtons KCJ law firm in Norwich, as well as a £500 contribution towards an activity/foreign travel in the summer that would enhance understanding of the law. Since I was considering law as a potential career path, I made the decision to apply. The initial stage of this was to write a brief email stating why I thought I should be considered. After this, I waited to hear if I had made it to the next stage which was an interview at Ashton KCJ. The interview was an enjoyable experience where Damian Humphrey (a partner at the firm) and his colleague asked me questions based on the CV I provided as well as my general understanding of a legal career.
I was delighted to hear that I was the recipient of the prize and my work experience placement was arranged for the first week of the Christmas holidays. I was unsure of what to expect however, I found the week to be both enjoyable and informative. Throughout the week I was able to explore various different aspects of a career in law from attending meetings to reading franchise agreements and attending family court. I particularly enjoyed my time with the matrimonial team and the trip to court, spending the day shadowing a solicitor in court and meeting her client. After this placement, I would seriously consider a career in law, particularly family law, as it involves meeting clients from all walks of life and, as someone who enjoys meeting new people, I find this aspect of the career particularly interesting. Next year I hope to study Law with anthropology at LSE.
In addition to the week of work experience, Ashtons KCJ also awarded me a £500 contribution to an activity that will enhance my understanding of the law in the broadest sense. This summer I am looking forward to travelling to Asia to volunteer in small village communities who are aiming to recover economic stability after experiencing natural disasters. I am hoping to see how artisan skills of women can create small local enterprises that can enable communities to escape poverty and address gender equality. The Sir Francis Gawdy Law prize has been a great opportunity and I would like to thanks Ashtons KCJ and the school for facilitating it.