Antoine studied the Legal Practice Course at City, University of London and undertook the LPC Mentor Scheme.
Why did you choose to study the LPC with City?
I first started at City through the INTO City graduate diploma program in Law, I then went on to a LLM in Banking & Finance at the Law School before heading to a private university that focuses on specialist legal training, where I completed my GDL.
Although that institution had its advantages, their unique approach to training quickly made me realise that I preferred the sense of community and teaching style at City. So, when it came time to apply for the LPC I thought it best to return.
How did you hear about the LPC Mentor Scheme?
You couldn’t really miss it : ) it was on the central page of my Moodle account and I remember getting a few emails from the Law School and Sona about the scheme.
What did you have to do to apply?
The application process was pretty straight forward. I had to fill in a table with five (5) pre-set questions on my desired legal employment sector, my preference of the firm’s size (if I intended to work in the private sector), my legal interests, special requirements.
The last was the core of the application and it focused on why I felt I should have a mentor.
Why did you want to be mentored? What are the benefits to you?
At the time, I wanted to be mentored because I felt that I did not have access to lawyers who specialised in international financial services and offshore tax law.
I wanted the opportunity to speak with lawyers in the field to better understand if practice matched my studies on the LLM as well as my own perception of what it could be like.
The benefits were great. I had expected to be paired with a trainee or a newly qualified solicitor, but Sona came back to me with the head of legal for commercial banking at NatWest Group – a pairing that without embellishing has been truly life changing.
The main benefit for me was being informed of the routes of getting into my preferred specialization. My mentor pointed out strategies that I could use to improve my chances of securing a position.
Tell us more about your appointed mentor?
I was paired with Susannah Rose-Innes. She's the head of legal for commercial banking at NatWest Group and has been with the group for (and if I remember correctly) ten years.
Susie’s awesome, there’s no doubt that she is quite an accomplished lawyer and I’d admit I was a bit intimidated at our first meeting, but from the get-go, it was clear that she was there to help – which eased my nerves and made for a really friendly chat. We’re super lucky to have people like Susannah volunteer with the law school.
Would you recommend future students to take part in the scheme? Any tips?
Definitely. The scheme’s an intimate insight into your preferred specialism. In my experience, my sessions with Susannah introduced me to different routes to qualification and although we face quite a lot of competition for training contracts, I learnt that at times we can be a little too tough on ourselves.
Much so that we forget to enjoy the process.
On tips, I’d say be as candid as you can in what you want to gain from the scheme in your application and Sona will work her magic.
If you get selected, do the same with your mentor whilst keeping in mind that they’re volunteering their time to share their experiences with us.
What are your plans for after you complete your studies? (Training contract, work, etc.)
My plan is to head back to Ghana and finish a 6-month professional training conversion course with the Ghana School of Law.
This would qualify me as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana, at which point I hope to be selected as one of the Junior State Prosecutor with the Attorney General’s office from my cohort.
Anything else you would like to add?
I would just like to publicly thank Susannah for her help and for volunteering with the LPC Mentor Scheme.