After completing his studies in politics, Navid chose to start a new career in Law at City. Read his advice to future GDL students.
Why did you choose to study the GDL?
I chose to study the GDL after I decided that I wanted a career in law. I had previously worked in a number of different fields, including a one-year stint as a consultant researcher at UNICEF in the Middle East, and a two-year stint as a manager of my family's reprographics business in London. I chose to study the GDL because I wanted to finish my studies sooner, and be back in employment as soon as possible.
Why did you choose City, University of London?
I went to open days at all of the main GDL providers in London, and spoke to solicitors and barristers about their thoughts on which provider I should select. I eventually chose City because I learnt that a higher ratio of students apply to the Bar from City than from other GDL providers. This made my life somewhat easier when I was applying for pupillage. Also, I was drawn to City University's reputation for providing a more 'academic' GDL course.
Tell us about any mooting or pro bono work you have taken part in.
I took part in City's internal moot competition for GDL students, and an external moot competition called the Maitland Advocacy Prize. I also took part in a number of moot workshops organised by my Inn of Court. I had never mooted before I started the GDL, but the opportunities came thick and fast once the course began.
Throughout the GDL year, I provided assistance to a delegation of British lawyers investigating the treatment of children held in military detention in Israel and the West Bank. This work was demanding and very interesting from a legal perspective, though it is not what ordinarily might be called pro-bono legal work, such as helping out at a law centre, or taking on FRU cases.
What are your plans for the future?
I have recently accepted an offer for pupillage that will start in October 2015. Between now and then, I will be doing the BPTC course at The City Law School. The set of chambers I am joining undertakes work in Equality and discrimination law, employment, clinical negligence, public law and commercial law.
What advice would you give to anyone who wants to study on the GDL?
1) I would strongly encourage people to only study the GDL if they are sure that they want to be a lawyer. Speak to lawyers who work in the fields that you think you might find interesting to gauge whether it's really something you want to do.
2) If you are sure that law is for you, try to obtain as much work-experience as you can before you start the GDL. You will have few opportunities to take breaks from the GDL course to do week long mini-pupillages or vacation schemes, and you will feel ahead of the game if you have lots of work experience before you start the course.
3) When you start the GDL, focus on the essentials and only explore the details in the areas of law that you find particularly interesting. Knowing in advance what you are supposed to take away from each tutorial might help to keep you from feeling overwhelmed.