I recently caught up with OULS member and friend Catherine Howell who has recently been appointed as the Lead Aspiring Solicitors Student Ambassador for the Open University. She has been hard at work planning future events as well as establishing a committee. Various roles are available and can be created as she sees fit, therefore if you feel you could contribute to a position such as head of pro bono activities, commercial awareness or employability, then do contact Catherine on social media (see below) for more information.
AS provide opportunities and assistance to undergraduate and postgraduate students aspiring to become solicitors. In particular, they offer help to “underrepresented groups” which includes, but is not limited to, state educated, disabled, gay and first generation aspiring solicitors. The type of help they can offer for free is assistance with CV’s, interview preparation, workshops and training contract assistance. AS have partnered with some of the big, well known law firms such as Barclays, Dentons and TLT and also provide lawyer lunches and open days with these firms for students.
I became an ambassador because I feel Open University students fall into the underrepresented groups. We are all distance learners and we do not experience the full advantage that brick universities offer, such as law fairs and regular face to face meet ups. The Open University is not massively known by law firms. It is recognised, but there is a stigma that the Open University is ‘easy’. I want to change this perception and prove to law firms that actually, law students from the Open University bring much more experience to the table than your standard student.
As part of your law degree with the Open University you are not taught how to get a vacation scheme, training contract or pupillage, it is something the university massively lacks. I want to be the bridge between students studying with the OU and moving on to being able to qualify as a solicitor.
AS-OU are currently recruiting members for its committee. If you are interested in helping to promote diversity in the legal profession, please contact me for more information on how to apply.
AS website:- https://www.aspiringsolicitors.co.uk/
OU-AS Facebook page:- https://www.facebook.com/AspiringSolicitorsOpenUniversity/?ref=bookmarks
Written by James Sudworth – OULS News Editor