ALUMNI
Jure Tuš
Law with French Law, 2015-2019
Stuying for the LPC

I am currently studying for my LPC. Once I graduate I intend to pursue a career as a commercial lawyer. I hold a Training Contract offer from CMS and will start working as a trainee with them in August.

How did you get to where you are now?

With focus, patience and determination as well as support from family, friends and teachers.

How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

Studying at Warwick allowed me to get to know the career opportunities I had not known existed prior to attending University. Once I knew what career I wished to pursue, there was plenty of support available both through the School of Law and student societies, which made the application process less scary.

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What are the most challenging parts of your work?

I am currently studying on the LPC, but have worked and will work in a commercial law firm. From my limited exposure to the office, I think the most challenging parts of being a commercial lawyer are the complexity of the tasks we are faced with, the occasional long working hours and the level of responsibility on our shoulders. At the same time, these can also be the most fulfilling parts, if you are work in the right team and qualify in the practice area that is right for you.

What inspired you to follow the career you have? What lessons have you learned?

I wanted to pursue a career in commercial law because it is both intellectually stimulating and rewarding. I have learned to look at the bigger picture and set long-term goals. This way, minor obstacles along the way to your dream career are easier to overcome.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

I secured a job offer which grants me the independence that I have always strived for.

What was your favourite aspect of your course?

The openness of the staff and the opportunities, both academic and extra-curricular, that were available to us.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

Choose Warwick if you want to be part of a vibrant student community, learn from leading academics and spend the best three (or more) years of your life at a beautiful countryside campus.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your time as a student?

Sometimes I wish I had studied harder and gotten better grades, but then I remember all the extra-curriculars I got involved with and I do not have any regrets.

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

The 2019 Law Ball, the dance competitions I took part in and the house parties I organised.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

You already have all it takes to succeed, just stay focused.

ALUMNI
Debbie Wathome
Law 3 Year LLB, 2013-2016
Advocate of the High Court of Kenya

I'm now an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya and a member of the Law Society of Kenya (admitted on the 21 July 2020). I am currently practising commercial and corporate law in Kenya.

How did you get to where you are now?

I am a Kenyan national, after reading Law at Warwick, I moved back home to Kenya. Due to my foreign degree, by law, I had to undertake a compliance/bridging course at a local university before beginning the Advocates Training Programme. Unlike the UK, Kenya has only one national Law School, where all the Law graduates regionally attend, every year for their training. It is an 11-month programme, followed by a 6-month pupillage. I completed the Training Programme and secured a pupillage at Bowmans Coulson Harney LLP, which is one of the largest and best Corporate Law firms in Africa.

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How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

My electives were an eclectic mix of units that I found interesting. I did not necessarily apply any intentional steps to take modules that echoed commercial law, rather I saw my LLB as an opportunity to challenge myself, to learn new things, and explore modules that made me think differently. As a result, in my job interviews and legal spaces, I believe that can offer a unique and nuanced perspective on issues, or on how to approach and think through issues that are not necessarily linear. Access to interdisciplinary modules and a mix of coursework enabled me to learn and exercise new skills, as a critical thinker and an aspiring Advocate.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

I have pioneered an initiative that has enabled a local university in Kenya (called Riara University) to establish a Legal Aid Clinic for the Law School, that partners with a team of over 30 Paralegals working at the grassroots level in Kenya's largest slum, Kibera. The initiative is a result of bringing together various stakeholders as partners and utilising resources to ultimately encourage and enhance the important work that the paralegals are doing, by scaling the access to justice and legal representation for some of the most vulnerable people in Kenya.

What was your favourite aspect of your course?

The diverse and intriguing interdisciplinary modules I took, such as Shakespeare and the Law and Law and Literature. These module's respective lecturers are renowned in their own academic right, in addition, at a more personal level the confidence in my ability to argue, in my trial advocacy, and in my creativity was harnessed, embraced, and refined by them with a level of intentionality that is difficult to find in many other universities. Along with Comparative Human Rights, these modules gave me the ability to be a holistic thinker and taught me how to interrogate ideas thoroughly and with a deep level of ingenuity. The lecturers and tutors gave me the intellectual space to be an individual thinker and a creator of solutions. For this, I will never forget the fun, and challenges, I experienced and embraced during my undergraduate degree!

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

Go for it! Warwick Law School is unique insofar as they offer such an array of interesting electives. Your degree is a time to explore, to learn, unlearn and relearn, to challenge your assumptions and broaden your worldview/s. Make the most of the fascinating electives and enjoy yourself!

Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your time as a student?

I would have stuck with field hockey as my extra curricular sport. Being part of a sports team, at least at a competitive level, forces one to maintain a high level of discipline, which sometimes, can be an issue for students. If I could be a fresher again, I would not have given up field hockey and would have cherished the teamwork that it creates and develops, and optimised on the wellness that being physically active has! Do not forget to take care of yourself, physically, emotionally and psychologically while conquering your studies!

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

My time with the Law Society and the incredible work we achieved as I oversaw 11 Pro Bono groups. Serving with the Society as one of their Pro Bono leaders and a first-year representative, cultivated my leadership abilities and confidence and instilled a deep sense of civic responsibility in me. I learned how to balance my school and responsibilities while maintaining a social life. My tutor, Barbara Nastoll, and the entire Law faculty made the school feel like home and taught me to think deeper, push myself, read wider and dare to do more and be more. The staff in the University, from the reception to the library, were always available and willing to assist me, they always made me feel welcome and listened to.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

Have an open mind, you will meet a melting pot of people from all backgrounds, cultures and experiences at Warwick. If you allow yourself, you'll be surprised how much you can learn from them, and grow as a person in return. I made some of my dearest friends in Warwick, of whom I still travel with and share life experiences with! University is definitely the time to explore and challenge your mind, so do not forget to apply yourself to your studies and seize all the great opportunities you have to be in a world class, top 10 Russell Group University, yet, allow yourself to learn a new skill, speak to someone new, and to keep growing!

ALUMNI

Debbie Wathome

Law 3 Year LLB, 2013-2016

Advocate of the High Court of Kenya

ALUMNI

Charles Adeogun-Phillips

Law 3 Year LLB, 1986-89

International Human Rights lawyer

ALUMNI
Elizabete Ludborza
Law with Study Abroad in English, 2015-2019
Junior Legal Officer

I am currently working as a Junior Legal Officer at eBay in Luxembourg.

How did you get to where you are now?

It took a lot of hard work, determination and self-compassion for me to get to where I am now. The support I received throughout my journey from family and friends cannot be underestimated.

How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

The Warwick Law School name carries prestige and is known internationally, which was very helpful when interviewing with prospective employers. Throughout university, the Warwick Law School Careers Support and student societies (e.g. Warwick Law Society) frequently hosted a wide variety of careers events. These events made me better understand which career paths are better suited to me and which are not.

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What are the most challenging parts of your work?

The most challenging parts of my work revolve around time zone differences. I work with teammates around the world, meaning I work early mornings with my APAC colleagues and often have late calls with my US colleagues. Decision-making is slowed down when it requires approval from people based in several time zones. On the positive side, this means I get to work with people from a wide variety of nationalities and cultures!

What inspired you to follow the career you have? What lessons have you learned?

Truth be told, my career path was far from linear and I found myself in the tech industry somewhat by accident. I realised my passion for technology from a young age, having designed and coded my own website at the age of 13. Pursuing legal studies was an aspiration of mine since secondary school, because not only would it provide me with the academic rigour I desired but would also allow me to hone my analytical and critical thinking skills. To now be able to work at the intersection of law and technology is my perfect scenario.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

I am immensely proud of having graduated from Warwick Law School with a First-Class law degree. This was a goal I set for myself in my second year and I thought it was unrealistic and unattainable for myself, especially given that I had an average grade of 2.2 in my first year. I pushed myself and found my voice in presenting strong arguments in my written work. This, in turn, enabled me to achieve the top grade in many subjects and made me feel more confident in myself and my work. I am humbled to have been awarded the Herbert Smith Freehills prize for achieving the highest grade in the Law & Policies of the European Union module in 2017.

What was your favourite aspect of your course?

My favourite aspect of the Law (with Year Abroad in English) course was the ability to study abroad in Australia for a year! It is such a cliché, but it really was one of the best years of my life thus far. Being able to extend my common law specialisation to the Australian legal system, while simultaneously being able to travel one of the most biodiverse regions on earth, was an experience I do not take for granted.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

I could not recommend studying at Warwick Law School enough! A campus university like Warwick is ideal for undergraduate students, as there are ample opportunities to connect with academics and students alike. Furthermore, the student society offering is unparalleled in the UK – there is bound to be a society catered to your passions and interests.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your time as a student?

Even though I could easily say that I wish I had not put so much pressure on myself and would have been kinder to myself, I do not think I would do anything differently in hindsight. I am a strong believer in everything happening for a reason. Therefore, I think I had to go through the hard times to be who I am today – a more self-compassionate person.

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

Simple – the people I met along the way. I am beyond grateful to have met people at Warwick who I can safely call my best friends to this day. Despite being spread out across the globe, I know I can lean on any one of them for support and vice versa.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

Work smarter, not harder. Also, don’t forget to enjoy yourself along the way!

ALUMNI
James Wilkinson
Law 3 Year LLB, 2014-2017
Trainee Solicitor

I am in my fourth and final seat as a Trainee Solicitor at Hogan Lovells International LLP. After seats in Real Estate, Insurance Litigation and Infrastructure Finance, I am currently on secondment to Merck Sharp & Dohme, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies and one of the firm’s top clients.

Studying Law at Warwick was a perfect springboard to a training contract at a global commercial law firm. Students at Warwick are always encouraged to think critically and consider the policy reasons behind pieces of legislation and key appellate decisions. My seminars encouraged the challenging of ideas, arguments and rationale. We were taught to always question ‘why?’, and to consider whether and how the law might be improved. I have learned that the best lawyers are those who understand intimately the commercial drivers behind the transactions and disputes on which they work. Warwick’s ‘Law in Context’ approach to teaching yields real benefits upon entering private legal practice, and continues to help shape many of the world’s finest legal minds.

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During my final year at Warwick, I had the privilege of serving as Warwick Law Society’s Master of the Moots. This taught me invaluable skills that I use every day in my current role: project management, organisation, and a detailed understanding of how to craft legal arguments. The extra-curricular opportunities available to Warwick students are extensive, and I would encourage you to get involved with mooting. It will make you a better legal thinker, writer and advocate.

You will study with people from all over the world, and from all walks of life. As a trainee I have worked with a variety of personalities and working styles, and moved from one department to another. Adaptability is key, and Warwick’s diversity will prepare you well for whatever career path you choose to follow. The three years I spent studying at Warwick were the best of my life. Choosing to study at this fantastic university will be one of the best decisions you ever make.

ALUMNI
Aarti Advani
Law 4 Year LLB, 2016-2020
Graduate Role at Barclays

I have recently commenced a Graduate role at Barclays. I work in the Regulatory Insight and Strategic Response (RISR) team, which undertakes tracking and prioritising regulations that shall affect the ring-fenced bank. Following the review of the regulatory landscape, I work on developing optimal compliance approaches in collaboration with leading stakeholders across the Wealth & Investment Management, Business Banking, Channels and Retail Products, and the UK business of Private Bank teams internally. In addition, I work on Impact Assessments, which in turn provides for the mobilisation of programmes and implementation strategies, with the right levels of governance in place. Further, pursuing my interest in RegTech, allows me to work on initiates such as digital regulatory reporting, automation of regulatory interpretation and horizon scanning using Machine Learning techniques.

Having graduated in such unprecedented times, I can very confidently say that Warwick Law School has provided us with the required guidance and support in every situation possible. All my professors have ensured that that we can speak to lecturers and seminar tutors even outside of their regular visiting hours, ensuring my learning journey remains smooth. Moreover, being an active part of the SSLC, I can speak to the fact that students are the heart of every decision that the Law School takes. So, no doubt Warwick Law is the best place to pursue your degree!

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Across my Law degree at Warwick, I was able to develop the right skillset to summarise and comprehend large amounts of information within a short period of time. Amongst the modules I took as electives, I really enjoyed Data Protection Law as it gave me the right blend of knowledge with regards to a popular regulation i.e. GDPR. The regulation was even a signature programme which I worked on during my internship at Barclays, and everyone was impressed as to the level of knowledge I had on the subject-matter, thanks to the extensive teaching pattern adopted at Warwick. Additionally, Public Legal Education is another module that I liked, as it combined legal knowledge along with the skill set of communicating and interacting with vulnerable people. Through the placement aspect of the module, I was able to develop presentation skills to explain the complex legal information in its simplest and in an easy understandable manner, which is a vital skill to any profession.

ALUMNI
Anthony Searle
Law 4 Year LLB, 2010-2014
Pupil Barrister

Since October 2017, I have been a Barrister at Serjeants' Inn, a set of chambers that specialises in important and high profile medical, regulatory, police and public law cases, often involving political, ethical or social issues. I advise and draft pleadings for lay clients, NHS trusts and police forces across the UK, and I have appeared in the High Court, County Court, Crown Court, Magistrates' Court and Family Court.

How did you get to where you are now?

I read Law at the University of Warwick and graduated with First Class Honours. Whilst at Warwick, I was a Music Scholar and I also founded Warwick Bar Society. Having taken a fond interest in the 'Medicine and the Law' module, I decided to undertake an MA in Medical Law at King's College London, in which I gained a Distinction. The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple awarded me a Major Scholarship to study the BPTC at BPP University Law School, which I completed in June 2016 with an 'Outstanding' grade. In October 2016 I started my 12-month pupillage at Serjeants' Inn, and I was taken on as a tenant in October 2017.

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How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

I use what I learnt on my Law degree every day. The seminal case of Bolam, with which students will be very familiar from their first year Tort Law module, applies to most of the clinical negligence cases I work on. In a more general sense, the analytical skills which I developed at Warwick are central to all of my tasks. Finally, the 'Shakespeare and the Law' module, which helped to hone my advocacy skills, has helped me to be more persuasive.

What are the most challenging parts of your work?

Causation can often be quite tricky in clinical negligence cases, as many students will remember all too well from their study of Tort Law. In addition, getting to grips with the medicine involved in a particular case can often be challenging - Google certainly comes in very handy!

What inspired you to follow the career you have? What lessons have you learned?

I was always argumentative as a child. As I matured, I learnt that I could put my voice to better use and I developed an interest in law. Having undertaken some work experience at a set of chambers when I was at school, I was inspired by the eloquence of the barristers I observed in court. At Warwick, I was inspired by both my teachers and my friends to continue pursuing a career at the Bar, even when I did not always think that I would be successful.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

In 2013, my friend Yasmin and I won the Irwin Mitchell Medical Law Mooting Competition, a national competition open to undergraduate and postgraduate law students. Unlike most competitions, this was one in which all of the preliminary rounds, as well as the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final, took place on the same day. It was one of the most intense days of my life so far, which made it all the more fulfilling (and surprising) when we were crowned the winners. I was honoured to have represented Warwick at a national level, and our success inspired me to pursue a career in medical law.

What was your favourite aspect of your course?

The variety. In particular, I was able to study two modules which (to my knowledge) no other university in the country offer: 'Origins, Images and Cultures of English Law' and 'Shakespeare and the Law'. I always knew law was interesting but looking at it from the angles of the history of political thought or theatre was an eye-opener. It allowed me to think about the law in a much broader way, which was certainly helpful when studying the more 'black letter' subjects.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

In general, it is an incredibly vibrant and busy place to study. It has more student societies than any other university and its setup as a campus creates such a wonderful 'buzz'. For those interested in law, I would say that the range of degrees (and the range of modules within those degrees) offered by the Law School allows you to tailor your course to your particular interests and, overall, makes for a far more rewarding experience.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your time as a student?

I wish I had performed a bit better in my first year. Even though they don't count towards your final degree result, your first year marks will be important for your applications to prospective employers or chambers.

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

One of my favourite memories was watching Paul Raffield being greeted by, and receiving a dance from, someone dressed as a dolphin during a Tort lecture in RAG week. I'm sure all 300-or-so students who witnessed that will still be able to remember it for many years to come.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

No matter what career you pursue, treat every cover letter/application form like a piece of advocacy. Imagine you're a barrister who has been given a brief which contains your background, qualifications, achievements and experiences. Be an advocate for yourself and present a well reasoned and structured 'case' from the available evidence.

ALUMNI
Charlotte Morgan
Law and Business Studies
Associate Solicitor at Enable Law

Studying at the University of Warwick was an easy choice to make due to its great reputation as a university generally, but particularly for law. I was also fortunate because it offered a combined Law & Business degree.

By the time I was ready to pack my bags for university, I knew that I wanted to be a solicitor – it had always been my goal. Law was a subject that sparked my interest very early on. I’m naturally a very organised person with good attention to detail, and I believe these are the key skills needed to be a solicitor.

Law provides a career that is constantly challenging, and if you enjoy problem solving, then it’s the right course for you. I graduated 16 years ago now, but I have such fond memories of my time at Warwick, and many elements of my degree have been useful throughout my career. My only regret? Not joining more clubs during freshers week, to meet people other than those studying the same subject as me.

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I qualified as a solicitor in 2007 and then practiced in personal injury work from 2007-2012. I then moved into the field of clinical negligence and did that entirely for five years. I now deal with some clinical negligence cases but mostly serious, high value personal injury claims. I’ve been at Enable Law since 2014, where I do a mix of clinical negligence and serious personal injury work, although longer term I will just be doing personal injury. Most of my cases are valued at over £50,000 and involve clients who have brain injuries, paralysis, amputations or serious orthopaedic injuries.

Personal injury work is always interesting in terms of the rather unfortunate ways that some people manage to injure themselves and because unlike transactional work, every case is different. I am about to settle a clinical negligence case for a 28-year-old lady who was left blind as a result of medical negligence. The claim is estimated to settle for circa £9 million.

In this industry, we deal with people who have been through a traumatic experience and often have life changing injuries. They are understandably emotional, and you have to be able to empathise with that person. Retaining an emotional detachment to some extent allows you be able to do your job and achieve the best outcome for your client.

My best advice for the students of Warwick would be to do as much work experience as you can. The reality of being a solicitor is very different to how the life of a lawyer is portrayed on TV/in the media.

ALUMNI
Thomas Jervis
Law 3 Year LLB, 2003-2006
Associate Lawyer at
Leigh Day Solicitors

Thomas graduated from the University of Warwick in 2006 and has since combined his law skills and knowledge with his passion for justice to lead a fulfilled a career as a recognised consumer lawyer.

When I was offered a scholarship to study at the University of Warwick, I was incredibly honoured. Their reputation preceded them as one of the country’s leading law schools, and for being known human rights advocates. I certainly felt out of my depth when I first started studying my degree. The students on my course were, for the most, from a more privileged background than me. The course was intense, and if it wasn’t for my Professor of Human Rights at the time championing me, I may have found it too intense. He went onto being one of the biggest influences on my career.

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Whilst studying at Warwick University, I tried to do the best I could in terms of getting the grades I needed to open as many doors as possible when it came to finding a legal job. In retrospect, I wish I spent some of that time on taking part in more of the extra-curricular opportunities that were available at the university.

The aspects of my law degree that have proved to be the most useful in my career are definitely the specific courses in medical law and also in human rights. I also received a first in a dissertation on a Leigh Day case, whilst concurrently doing work experience in a human rights law firm. I started my legal contacts network at that stage of my career, making the most out of a great opportunity. Having come from a family where I was the first lawyer, I was definitely concerned that my lack of legal contacts would stifle my progression – my university ensured this was not the case.

The reason why I wanted to pursue law has always been to help the most vulnerable in society. My late brother, Nicholas, was severely disabled – he was instrumental in shaping my career choices over the years.

I started in January 2007 as a Paralegal for Leigh Day Solicitors, and then studied the bar part-time whilst working full-time, eventually cross-qualifying as a solicitor in 2012. I was then promoted to Associate in 2018, and have very recently been announced as a salaried partner.

My career at Leigh Day has been incredibly diverse and colourful. I’ve always tried to pursue cases of the highest value and complexity against well-known multinational companies and government bodies to ensure that all negligence is brought to justice. However, I would say that the Death Row programme I participated in whilst studying at Warwick Law School provided an interesting start, as I defended and investigated death penalty cases in the USA.

My advice to students who want to pursue a career in law, is to not give up. Hold onto the reason that made you join, even when the competition is fierce. If I can do it, so can you.

ALUMNI
Oscar Fuchs
Law with German Law, 1995-1999
Co-Founder of Chapman CG

The reason I chose to study law at Warwick University was because of its reputation for having a unique approach to the subject. Other universities seemed to characterise the study of law as a myriad of facts and principles that needed to be learnt and memorised. And it’s true, there’s no avoiding some of these elements. But the approach at Warwick University was different. It was highly contextual.

When we touched upon a principle, there was always a discussion about the historical precedents, modern-day ramifications to society, and the way in which legal thinking was continuing to evolve. It was as though we were studying a living organism within a complex ecosystem, not just words on paper. This practice taught me how to approach issues not just from a factual basis, but also through a practical and critical lens.

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I also appreciated the international aspect of the course on offer at Warwick University. I was on a four-year course which included a year’s study in Germany, and I enjoyed the opportunity to learn the way another country’s system differed from my own. When I returned to Warwick University for my fourth and final year of study, I was inspired to take a half-course option on the Law in Japan. I was fascinated by the comparison between the familiar legal systems in Europe, and the system of a country in a continent about which I knew very little. This curiosity has stayed with me, and ultimately led me on a path to spending a total of fifteen years in Asia, including three years in Hong Kong and three years in Shanghai.

Nowadays when people ask me whether they should study or work overseas, I immediately advise them to seriously consider it. Studying and living in different environments is the best way to challenge your own preconceptions, to synthesise issues from both a local and global perspective, and to exercise your mental agility and adaptability. And to my mind, the environment at Warwick University offers one of the best foundations for these experiences. The academic curriculum at the Law School was extremely well designed and taught. And the Warwick University campus was a great place to mingle with students from other disciplines, who were also being taught in similar progressive, practical settings.

It’s now almost twenty years since I graduated, and I have since worked in many different environments, and in many different countries. But I can still see how these experiences can be connected back to life at Warwick University. And the word ‘connected’ is what describes Warwick University so well: the cerebral connection to the subject matter; the personal connection with professors and peers; and the wider connection with business, arts and society that can so readily be found on campus.

ALUMNI
Seyi Afolabi
Law and Sociology, 2006-2011
LLM International Development Law & Human Rights, 2013-2014
Executive Officer, Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK, Houses of Parliament

In my current role I support the senior executive of the organisation including the Chief Exec, Deputy Chief Exec and both governance committees of the organisation (Executive Committee & Finance Committee). I deliver parliamentary programmes both in Westminster and throughout the Commonwealth – primarily for the British Isles and Mediterranean Region, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Network and the annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference. Our programmes focus on strengthening parliamentary democracy. Outside of work I am a keen writer and the Founder of Aya’s Garden, an online platform dedicated to storytelling and the celebration of marginalised groups and their experiences. I am also the Founder and Creative Director of LALI London, an upcoming conscious fashion brand. I am passionate about investing in the next generation and have been a Youth Leader for a local community group for the past seven years.

How did you get to where you are now?

From a very young age I had an interest in human rights, law and politics. This transpired into the choice to complete my BA in Law and Sociology. My undergraduate degree was a time of academic and personal discovery and it led to an interest in international law and advocacy. After graduating I gained some work experience in London and then returned to Warwick to complete my LLM in International Development Law and Human Rights.

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After graduating from my LLM I secured work experience in London with a legal advocacy and human rights organisation. This was followed by a full time position with a women’s advocacy and human rights NGO. I have been with my current organisation for two years and am thoroughly enjoying the world of Parliament and the Commonwealth.

How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

It was during the penultimate year on my undergraduate degree in Law and Sociology that I took International Law as one of my modules. This module caused me to think about development, human rights and advocacy as a career path. My LLM in International Development Law and Human Rights at Warwick not only gave me a postgraduate qualification from a renowned university but it prepared me theoretically for the human rights and advocacy sector.

What are the most challenging parts of your work?

I wear many different hats on a daily basis. Balancing a full time job with designing, running a business and writing is demanding. I also lead projects in my community working with young people so I have to be very careful and deliberate about my time. Juggling everything has meant sacrifice at times.

What inspired you to follow the career you have? What lessons have you learned?

I have always had an interest in law, human rights and politics. I was particularly inspired by the International Law module which I undertook in my third year. The lectures and the seminars were very interesting and helped me to decide to complete my masters in International Development Law and Human Rights. One of the greatest lessons of my academic and professional career path is that no two paths look the same. Some people know exactly what they want to do, where they want to go and who they want to work for. For others like myself it takes more discovery – and that’s perfectly okay. The most important thing is to discover the path that’s right for you.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

Although I have done well academically and professionally, I am most proud of the work I have done as a Youth Leader and Mentor for a community youth group in East London. The work is challenging but equally rewarding and has allowed me to make a difference and impact the lives of the young people.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

Warwick is continuously deemed an excellent academic institution, which it is. However, my journey and time at Warwick was not simply an academic one. Whilst I was able to grow and flourish as a law student I also got involved with the array of cultural societies and events that the university has on offer. These experiences gave me great memories and helped to shape me as a well-rounded young person who was ready for the world of work.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your time as a student?

I would have utilised my first year much more wisely. There are a lot of opportunities available to first year students which can really help to boost their long term career prospects. Summer internships, volunteering, campus societies, events and so on. Being pro-active and focused from the get go is very important.

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

I made some very good friends at Warwick. Some of whom I met as a fresher and still have great friendships with today.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

Academics are important but actively prioritise your mental health and wellbeing! Don’t compare your academic or professional path to anyone else’s.

ALUMNI
Martyn Day
Law 3 Year LLB
Senior Partner at
Leigh Day Solicitors

Martyn received an honorary degree from the University of Warwick in 2014 after being recognised as a leading environmental lawyer.

Choosing to study at Warwick was a simple choice for me. Not only was it one of the leading law schools in the UK, but my girlfriend at the time had also received an offer there, and at that age this was a huge factor in which university I chose to go to. It wasn’t until I arrived at the University of Warwick that I realised I’d made the right decision. Being taught by great lecturers who all had such accomplished law careers really inspired me at the time to strive in this industry. The lecturers who had the strongest influence on me were Mike Elliot and David Simpson. Both were so interesting in very different ways and they taught me not just about law, but about being a lawyer.

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The course itself completely resonated with me. From the very first lecture I fell in love with it, and I realised I was on the right career path. I knew from other friends that your love for an industry can wither and die depending on whether you love your university, course and lecturers – that’s how I knew Warwick was where I wanted to be.

My law degree allowed me to understand how law operates, and the importance it has in people’s lives. There’s no doubt about it – my academic career was the bedrock of the lawyer I have become. Looking back now, the only regret I have is spending my first year in Coventry accommodation!

After graduating, I did my articles at Colombotti and Partners, a commercial firm in the West End 1979-81. Then, a disastrous move to Clifford and Co – a union law firm – happened in 1981. I loved my time at Bindmans, a civil right law firm, between 1981-1987. I finally made the best decision of my life by setting up Leigh Day with Sarah Leigh in 1987. We started then with just the two of us and two secretaries. We’re now a firm of 450 people, including 55 partners – it’s really something to be proud of.

I’ve always been interested in cases that were of enough interest to be covered by the media. Those cases that brought about a change in society, and inspired conversation. Over the 33 years that Leigh Day has been in existence, we’ve certainly achieved that. Media stories about the work we do at the firm is almost a daily occurrence.

One of the greatest pleasures in my line of work is winning a case for those who need it most. In 2009, we negotiated a deal on behalf of 30,000 Ivorians who had suffered injuries when toxic waste was dumped in the economic capital of the country, Abidjan. In 2013, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague stood up in the House of Commons and announced the settlement we had brought about on behalf of the Kenyan Mau Mau. The settlement involved compensation for 5,000 former members of the Mau Mau, and also a memorial in Nairobi to all those who had suffered during the appalling colonial regime of the 1950s. The victory in this case was not only about the settlement, but also the media covering how terrible our forces had been to the Kenyans.

There are challenges as well as victories in this career path. In 2014, the Ministry of Defence encouraged the Solicitors Regulation Authority to investigate and then charge us in relation to the cases we were bringing against the MoD on behalf of Iraqis who alleged they had been injured or members of their family killed by soldiers from the British Army. The SRA served us with 20 charges and the case went on for 4 years at a cost of £7m. We won at every point – both in tribunal and then the appeal.

Being a lawyer is equally a privilege and pleasure. Law is a powerful tool to help people in their lives, and there are so many roots in society for lawyers, so you’ll even see many of us in parliament, major companies, NGOs – all walks of life! If you’re event vaguely interested, I highly advise you get some work experience at a local firm. I have never regretted going into Law a day in my life, and I am entirely grateful to the University of Warwick of a wonderful experience that lead to an incredible career.

ALUMNI
Lily Tomkins
Law 3 Year LLB, 2011-2014
Associate, Eversheds Sutherland LLP

I am currently working as a Corporate Lawyer specialising in Mergers & Acquisitions, Private Equity and Energy transactions.

How did you get to where you are now?

After completing my LLB at Warwick I completed my Legal Practice Course at BPP University in conjunction with my solicitor’s training contract at Eversheds Sutherland LLP, qualifying as a solicitor in January 2017.

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How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

So many things at Warwick have helped me, not solely restricted to things I have studied. Learning to be an advocate in Shakespeare and the Law helped me to communicate my ideas clearly as a solicitor and preparing an academic article in Law, Seas, People and Ecosystems piqued an interest in clean energy. I have always had a wide range of interests and this is something I drew on through the varied modules I studied at Warwick and continued in my place of work, aiming to gain as much experience in different areas of corporate law as possible.

What are the most challenging parts of your work?

Working to challenging deadlines, doing a good job on everything I put my name to, all whilst staying abreast of developments in the law. It can be difficult balancing all of those things at once, especially when working on a number of deals concurrently which all hit crunch points at the same time.

What inspired you to follow the career you have? What lessons have you learned?

I really enjoy working with businessmen and women and I enjoy the interaction between commerce and law. I did not originally think I would be a corporate lawyer, believing I would end up a litigator instead. I found the pace and clients of the corporate world altogether more exciting. I have learned that I am more determined than I gave myself credit for and found that hard work can get you a very long way.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

I am very proud to have finally qualified as a Solicitor and to have achieved an Associate position upon qualification with Eversheds Sutherland LLP. It can be a long route to qualification with a lot of hard work and many hours of studying. A training contract is two years of hard work, long hours and little sleep!

What was your favourite aspect of your course?

Being able to study with students from different disciplines. I loved studying Shakespeare and the Law with English Literature students and Law, Seas, People and Ecosystems with Biology students as I felt it gave me such a different perspective on these subjects. I achieved my highest marks in my inter-disciplinary modules which I felt sure was because I started thinking more laterally and stepped out of my comfort zone. It has helped me to this day and I try to apply this lateral thinking to problems that arise day to day in my career.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

Stop looking elsewhere!

Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your time as a student?

I’m not sure I could have fit much more in if I had tried, but I would have given it a good go. I certainly made use of Warwick having the most student clubs and societies. If anything, I would have visited the Arts Centre more and perhaps tried to get involved with Warwick University Drama Society – I mainly got involved with sports and the Law Society.

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

Meeting my partner, also a Warwick Law Graduate. I also used to love watching WUDS in the Woods, where Warwick University Drama Society would perform open air Shakespeare.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

There are Warwick Alumni everywhere, I actually sit next to one at work and there are several others in my team! It is a supportive Alumni network so don’t be afraid to reach out and keep in touch with your graduating cohort (and those who graduated in the years above you)!

ALUMNI
Andrew McNally
Law with German Law, 2011-2015
Commercial Manager, Marks and Spencer

I am responsible for the overall running of a £15 million food business in the seaside town of Llandudno, North Wales. My role includes being responsible for 80 staff members, which includes staff of all levels, recruitment and training, people management, managing budgets and P&L accounts, rolling out detailed business strategy, making commercial decisions to ensure KPIs are met and sales are maximised.

How did you get to where you are now?

After finishing university, I joined the Aldi Graduate Scheme as an Area Manager. During my time at Aldi, I was responsible for the overall running of 3-4 retail outlets with an annual turnover of £50 million, responsible for in excess of 150 members of staff, in varying parts of the Midlands and the North West of England.

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How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

Studying law at Warwick provided me with the necessary foundations to be able to analyse a lot of information, and digest the most important parts quickly. Additionally, hardly a day goes by without me calling on my legal knowledge to help me make decisions in my line of work; this can be anything to do with contracts, employment issues or licensing laws. Aside from the academic element, whilst I was at Warwick I was President of the then European Law Society which allowed me to learn what it meant to be a leader, something which I have been able to build upon in my current role.

What are the most challenging parts of your work?

My work brings with it many challenges such as the pressures which come with running a multi-million pound business and ensuring that I adopt effective strategy to ensure money is going through the till. However, the most challenging part is managing people. Any workforce can often be very unpredictable.

What inspired you to follow the career you have? What lessons have you learned?

In my final year at Uni, I wasn't quite ready to start a career in law, so I wanted a career which would challenge me, but also one which would give me a lot of responsibility. Having followed the career path I have, I have great responsibilities which really allow me to make a difference in the work I do. Whether this be investing time into the people who work for me, or making commercial decisions which can have an impact worth millions of pounds on the business.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

When working for Aldi I was responsible for the opening of a new store.

What was your favourite aspect of your course?

The year abroad in Germany.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

Do it! I had a fantastic time at Warwick. The Law School is very supportive and the opportunities which I was given whilst at Uni are endless. If I had to choose again, I would choose Warwick, without a doubt.

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

With the European Law Society going on tour to Paris and Munich.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

Take your time once you have finished Uni and don't rush into anything if you don't feel ready. If you have always wanted to take a year out to travel, do it! If you want to try something else before returning to law, do it!

Degree previously titled European Law.

ALUMNI
Katie Dillon
Law and Business Studies, 2005-2009
Family Solicitor

I am a family solicitor based in the Hale office of Stowe Family Law, the country’s largest, specialist family law firm. I specialise in all family law matters, including divorce and financial settlements and cohabitation. I have particular experience and specialism in cases involving children including where a child should live following the breakdown of a relationship, parental child abduction and relocation.

How did you get to where you are now?

Following my Law and Business degree, I undertook my LPC at Chester College of Law. After a year of study, I commenced my training contract with a Manchester city-based firm, Rowlands Field Cunningham. During my training contract I gained a lot of valuable experience in family law. Upon qualification I joined a family law firm in Wilmslow before securing my position at Stowe Family Law when I was just over 5 years qualified.

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How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

It is important to have an overview of the law and importantly our legal system no matter what area one ends up specialising in. The module in family law helped enormously, mainly as it is when I developed a particular interest in family law. I found studying business studies (as part of my joint honours degree) to be enormously helpful in my career when representing clients in financial proceedings. It assisted in providing a more detailed understanding of accounts and business which I look at on a day to day basis.

What are the most challenging parts of your work?

Managing time can be quite challenging with a busy caseload and so it is important to be organised and structured. Family law can often be quite an emotional area of law, particularly when it involves children and so it is important to try to provide clear advice to clients who often find it difficult to see past the emotional issues at such a challenging time.

What inspired you to follow the career you have? What lessons have you learned?

I have not come from a family of lawyers so I often ask myself how I found myself in law! My school didn’t offer an A-level in law but it was an area that we were encouraged to consider. I undertook a placement at a large Manchester city based firm for two weeks and also a mini-pupillage at St Johns Buildings Chambers and following this, knew that it was what I wanted to do. I didn’t however want to limit myself to having a law degree in the event that I didn’t like the subject at University and so chose to do a joint honours degree with Business Studies.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

There are moments in most days where it feels good to have helped someone but my proudest moment is probably when we obtained the return of a child who had been abducted by his Mother to the USA. We then successfully prevented the child from returning to the USA to live which would have had a damaging effect on the child’s relationship with his Father. I also secured an order enabling a Mother to return to Poland with her child against very serious allegations by the Father.

What was your favourite aspect of your course?

My family law module and also being able to combine both elements of law and business.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

I would tell them to attend! It is a brilliant university which is very well respected. Being directly on a campus for the first year is also a great experience.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently during your time as a student?

I wish I had made more of my first year on campus.

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

Having amazing fun with great friends that I made.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

Don’t give up! It can be very tough after graduation but you must persevere.

ALUMNI
Wong Chen
Law 3 Year LLB, 1988-1991
Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya, Malaysia

My current role as a Member of Parliament means I am involved in legislating, debating policy matters and monitoring government budgets.

How did you get to where you are now?

I joined the People's Justice Party in 2009 and became an economic policy advisor to Anwar Ibrahim, the former Leader of the Opposition. In 2013, I stood as a candidate in the constituency of Kelana Jaya and was elected to office.

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How did your studies at Warwick help you in your career?

Massively as a large part of my work now involves public policy and legislations.

What are the most challenging parts of your work?

Dealing with internal party politics. The fact that Malaysia is a barely functioning democracy, means the job carries undue personal risks of persecution and incarceration.

What inspired you to follow the career you have? What lessons have you learned?

I have always stood up for the underdog. The ruthless political crackdown by Dr. Mahathir in 1987, left a very deep impression on me. In 1988, I was urged by an international human rights lawyer to go to Warwick with a very specific goal, to study third world constitutional law under Prof. Yash Ghai. The idea was to return to Malaysia and fight the then dictatorship. Instead, after Warwick I discovered that I had a natural talent for business (my father is a successful businessman). After a short stint doing litigation and some legal aid work, I became a corporate lawyer for 20 years before rediscovering my original calling and eventually becoming a politician. Lesson learnt; life paths are never straight nor simple, the important thing is to continue to struggle, evolve and improve.

What have you done that you are most proud of?

Single-handedly defeating the controversial government Inland Revenue Board bill of 2014. The government had to withdraw 95% of the bill's substance and scrapped the idea of forming an Investment Panel within the IRB.

What was your favourite aspect of your course?

Discussing the policies and philosophies driving the law making process.

What would you tell someone thinking of studying at Warwick?

Yes do it, it's a great place to live and learn.

What are your favourite memories of your years at Warwick?

Sitting on the bench looking out at Tocil lake, on a crisp cold winter morning drinking Chinese tea.

Do you have any advice for new graduates?

Don't take too long to get a job. Whatever you undertake, put in your best efforts, constantly learn and continuously improve. Always be on time for meetings. Opportunities will come with a bit of luck, and lots of hard work and struggle.