Last night I attended the Annual Charity Law dinner organised by the University of Portsmouth’s Law School. This was a charity event raising money for Children with Cancer and The British Heart Foundation. Guest speakers for the evening were retired judge, Tim Milligan and Barrister, Rachel Spearing.
The evening was a great event with a good opportunity to network with students, lecturers and professionals. One part of the evening was a particular highlight for me – Rachel Spearing’s speech which really got stuck into my mind. It revolved around the idea of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in the legal profession. Despite being quite short and succinct, it did bring a smile to my face a few times so I thought I’d pass on the message to other aspiring lawyers out there. The key message reflected through my eyes, can be summarised like this:
1. The Good
The legal profession is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling professions out there. Legal services is one of the few sectors where you can really make a difference to the world that you live in. Each and every one of us will at one point of our legal careers get to contribute to the shaping and development of the rule of law. Whether it is by helping clients out with their everyday problems or advising big businesses on their next global strategy, by writing articles and legal papers, by being innovative and creative and driving our law firm / barrister chamber forward in the competitive world — the dynamics of the legal landscape makes each day unique and fosters an enjoyable, fulfilling work experience.
2. The Bad
In order to get the rewards of the legal profession, one ought to work hard. Whether it means writing that essay, or getting ready for that exam, preparing for a client’s meeting, or trying to find your way around through the legal maze in order to solve your client’s problem – it is challenging. For some, this is exactly where the beauty of the law lies in. For others, this might turn out to be quite tough at times. Whenever you find yourself stuck or struggling, refer back to point 1. Be certain as to why you want to enter the legal profession and most importantly – stick to it. It will all be worth it eventually.
3. The Ugly
The legal world out there is fiercely competitive. Whether you are competing tooth and nail to crack into the legal profession, or you are fiercely trying to survive within the changing legal landscape – it may get ugly at times. And if it does – refer back to point 1. It will all be worth eventually.
There is one thing you should be certain of. You should know WHY you have chosen this exact career path. You have to be certain that this is something that you have to do because it’s compelling, because there is a voice inside of you telling you that you ought to do it. It is a long way and hard work to success but you should always remember that hard work helps you get through life. With hard work, determination and commitment, you can be successful and you can achieve anything as long as you keep trying. And even if you find yourself in circumstances where your hard work didn’t quite pay off, you’d still get to learn something – most likely to try a little harder next time.
And if you lose all hope, and start wondering why you are pursuing a career in law – DON”T give up yet. Remember (as @ParalegalTony once tweeted)….
Thank you to everyone involved in organising this evening. And thanks to Rachel Spearing for the inspiring speech…