Teesside Uni’s law clinic is run in partnership with lawyers, charities and voluntary organisations. It offers students a unique experience working on real cases with real clients, giving them practical skills and a great addition to their CV.
Luke Watson worked in the law clinic while studying his undergraduate and postgraduate law qualifications at Teesside University.
‘What separates the law clinic from other types of work experience is the range of tasks you get involved in, from initial client consultations all the way through to final letters of advice, including billing and discharge procedures. I gained a real insight and understanding into the daily operations of a law firm and had the opportunity to be involved in all aspects.
‘The law clinic allowed me to develop my strengths and to identify and work on my weaknesses. As a result-orientated individual concerned with achieving targets, I originally intended to become a contract lawyer. This was recognised by the law clinic supervisor who advised me to take on a family law case. Dealing first-hand with such sensitive issues meant I developed skills in empathy and compassion and soon recognised that lawyers, no matter their area of expertise, need to be able to successfully manage relationships with clients to achieve the best outcome.
‘Talking with clients every day meant that I developed strong communication skills. I became skilled at striking a balance between professional but personable and experienced in dealing with people from a range of backgrounds. I developed skills that employers value. They looked great on my CV and I had lots to talk about in interviews.
‘I’m now employed as a family law paralegal and my experience in the law clinic definitely helped me get to where I am today.’
Click here to find out more about Teesside University’s Law clinic.
By Kate Nelson & Luke Watson.