London is a major international legal centre and is home to many major law firms and barristers’ chambers as well as some of the UK’s most important courts, such as the Old Bailey and the Royal Courts of Justice. See how our students have benefited from UCL’s central London location and the city’s rich resources and networks.
Collaborating with another organisation
Benefiting from London’s rich resources
Involved in an internship or placement
Engaged in a community or social project
Secured a job linked to their degree
Student case studies
Doing prestigious internships
Bar Chambers London, Nataliia Tuzheliak
After my exams I started an internship at the International Law Department of the Embassy of Ukraine to the UK. I will soon be starting another internship at the Outer Temple Chambers, having already pursued two mini pupilages at Barrister’s Chambers in London. The support I received from UCL Careers, along with the educational background I obtained during my LLM, undoubtedly helped me achieve these goals.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity to study at UCL. UCL Faculty of Laws gave me a lot of opportunities to network and collaborate. Apart from experiencing the excellent study facilities, you will widen your horizons, challenge your views and ideas in a truly diverse environment and a city which offers you whatever you dream about.
Gaining teaching experience
The Brilliant Club, Olivia Hamlyn
I completed my placements with The Brilliant Club at three different schools, from 2014 to 2016, two at senior schools and one at a primary school. I taught my primary school pupils a pre-designed philosophy course about fairness. For my placements in senior schools, I designed and taught courses based on my doctoral research into the way the EU regulates risky technologies. My students were selected to take the course on the basis of their interest in law or, in some cases, science.
The most enjoyable things about the placements were meeting and interacting with my pupils and introducing them to new ideas which they would not be exposed to in their normal school syllabuses. I became aware of The Brilliant Club via an email to one of the UCL email lists advertising for new tutors and I chose to apply both to gain some teaching experience and to contribute to widening participation. Having undertaken the placements (which also included some teacher training), I was able to demonstrate teaching experience which I believe contributed to securing my lectureship job. I may not have become aware of that opportunity had I not been a student at UCL.
Networking to secure a dream job
Vardags Law Firm, Rachida Benamar
After completing my Masters I applied to a prestigious boutique Law firm. It was one one my dream choices because the owner is Ayesha Vardags who won a famous case on prenuptial agreement. The best support ever came from my lecturer Ms Jackie Thomas. She went the extra mile and provided me with constant support. This is one of the reason I adore my experience at UCL . I have never felt so valued in any other places. Then in terms of career it was amazing the opportunities you can get thanks to networking.
The advice I wish I had before studying in London is to find a balance. It is very easy to be entertained in London . So the advice would be to focus on your studies while enjoying one of the most vibrant city in the world. In London I found the ultimate freedom to be yourself.
Collaborating with the UN
Centre for Law, Economics and Society of UCL, Omar Hernandez Arauz
During my studies I worked as a research assistant at the UCL Centre for Law, Economics and Society (CLES). I was involved in a special legal study in collaboration with the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The work involved being part of international working groups with team members based in different locations around the world (I was working with a colleague based in Madrid and another based in Paris).
The project at CLES was fundamental for my professional experience, as it was made in collaboration with UNCTAD, and this increased my awareness about the UN work in the area. The relevant professional experience that I acquired enhanced my CV, which also contributed to my securing an internship at UNCTAD in Geneva, and then a post as a Consultant at the UN. Studying in London and building networks here has been crucial in terms of being able to get a job with the UN and I received help from UCL Careers.
Securing a training contract while studying
Eversheds, Matthew Evans
During the LLM, I was selected to participate in the LawWithoutWalls (LWOW) programme, a cross-disciplinary student programme designed to challenge traditional ways of legal thinking. This project was supported by industry experts from a range of sectors across the world. Our project was to create a solution to enable access to the market for the ‘supermarket law’ generation. Our solution, offering fixed fee legal advice via video conferencing facilities in small retail outlets, won the award for ‘most viable project.’
I worked with team members based in California and Miami and we produced our project entirely in digital form. Given the diverse range of participants in LWOW from all over the world, I have professional contacts in a number of different countries, which will be invaluable as my career progresses.
Eversheds sponsored the programme for the first time during my participation. I was assigned an Eversheds mentor with whom I still keep in contact today. I was invited to a dinner at the Eversheds office and was able to discuss my training contract application with the connections I have made. UCL facilitated this relationship and the connections I made throughout London during my time on the programme were extremely valuable in progressing my career. This led to me securing a training contract with the firm whilst studying for my LLM. I am now a trainee solicitor at Eversheds in the London office.
Learning from prominent experts in the judiciary
Court of Appeal, Sebastian Kornhouser
One of the modules I took as part of my LLM course at UCL was “Judges, Courts and Judicial Decision Making”. The module included teaching from several prominent experts from the judiciary. Sir Anthony Hooper, a senior judge at the Court of Appeal in London, was one of the contributors. He was an excellent instructor and transferred knowledge about how to be a good judge; he also reflected on many years of his professional experience. It was critical enlightenment which a graduate student would not ordinarily benefit from on a ‘lecture-and-textbook’ module.
Due to London’s institutional, historical and legal prominence, the capital city has a concentration of experts who are easier to access. Studying in London provides convenient, strategic and direct access to expertise and to the multitude of experts one would not easily obtain if based in another city. For me, studying an LLM in London was a natural choice, which did not require second thought.
Doing an internship with a global law firm
Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, Yanlun Meng
I have greatly benefited from networking and collaborating with the law sector and have learned a lot about how law firms operate. During the term I took an internship with King & Wood Mallesons, a famous global law firm. There I conducted legal research on general corporate compliance matters and assisted in drafting preliminary contracts.
This internship benefited me a lot as it enhanced my multi-task capacity and I got a chance to combine theoretical knowledge with practice. In spite of the heavy workload, I found this experience extremely valuable, as my ability was recognized by a top law firm and I got the confidence to look for other internships. Studying in London provided me with infinite opportunities and it encouraged me to keep improving myself in the face of the fierce competition.
Getting a job with a leading legal services provider
Axiom, Amir S. Dhillon
LawWithoutWalls introduced me to the waves of disruption shaking the legal industry: reforming legal education, technological prowess and a business-minded approach to the traditionally static legal world. Learning to solve complex problems, adopting an entrepreneurial approach, writing a business plan and pitching to a panel of investors and legal/business leaders were instrumental to my growth.
Our business plan was to match junior and senior lawyers to work on child trafficking cases; allowing junior lawyers to gain work experience, senior lawyers to fulfil their pro bono requirements – all whilst providing a vital public service.
My current job is at Axiom, the world’s leading alternative legal services and technology provider. I work with senior managers on UK Marketing, Branding & PR strategy and take responsibility for its execution. I’m trusted with the huge responsibility of communicating Axiom’s message that legal work can be done in a smarter, faster, tech-enabled way. I love that I have an integral role in the phrasing and voice of the largest, most effective disrupter the legal industry has ever seen.
These case studies reflect the experience and opinion of the individual concerned and are provided to give a general illustration of some benefits that may be available to UCL graduate students. The actual opportunities available will depend on what is available at any given time and will vary between students, faculties and departments. These experiences should not necessarily be considered as representative of opportunities for all UCL students and not all activity mentioned forms a part of any taught syllabus or was organised through UCL.