Ryan BrightLaw LLB (Hons)
'The degrees that City University offer are specifically chosen with professions in mind, and that makes it unique.'
What has been your greatest experience at City so far?
My greatest experience at City occurred in my 1st year, when I was fortunate to obtain a place on a trip to the Supreme Court of England and Wales. As well as an informative tour, which comprised viewing and learning about the Constitutional significance of the Court, I also attended a question and answer session with the Rt Hon Lord Carnwath of Notting Hill CVO, one of the Justices of the Supreme Court. His judgements have contributed to the formation and development of the most supreme and binding Common Law in our Jurisprudence, so I felt honoured to be in his presence.
What is your dream job once you graduate?
If I pursue a career in the legal industry, I will take the path of a Solicitor over a Barrister. I would prefer to be a member of a business, as opposed to being self-employed and I feel that my strengths are more suited to advising than to advocacy. The beauty of a Law degree is that it is highly regarded by any employer. Since the Law applies to every part of day-to-day life, the skills that Law equips you with are easily transferable and are considered valuable in every profession. Therefore my options are not limited and allow me to take my life in a variety of different directions. Hopefully, I will experience Vacation Schemes, which will provide me with a clearer insight into life as a Solicitor and help me to make more specific decisions regarding my career. I have many interests, such as Politics (both domestically and internationally), Economics, Engineering, the Arts, Sport and Science. As a result, it is imperative that I satisfy multiple interests in my future employment and areas of Law that would succeed in this include: Aviation, Arbitration, Competition, Company, Commercial and Agency, Banking, Life Sciences, Maritime, Media and Technology, Intellectual Property, Energy, Private Client, Commercial Property, Sport and Family Law.
Moreover, a business would be attractive to me if it had fascinating work that moved with the times. A priority that I will always maintain is the need to establish a comfortable work-life balance, because the world of business can create stress and pressure, causing friction within personal lives. This is, in my opinion, dangerous, because a life outside work is not disposable. City Solicitors can work 16 hour days and businesses have often converted basements into sleeping pods for those who do not have time to return home before the next working day begins. This is the one contentious issue that is making me unsure about becoming a City Solicitor. In return for earning a lot of money, they do have to work exceptionally hard and potentially sacrifice elements of their private life, which I personally would find incredibly challenging. I must therefore select the type of Firm that I apply to wisely, so that I never regret any of my decisions.
What kind of qualities do you think you will need to succeed in this role?
To become a successful Solicitor, it requires hard work, confidence and determination, because it is a competitive industry. Employers have to distinguish between applicants with similar academic credentials and it is important that I have distinctive qualities that allow me to impress more than others. One of the most valuable assets of a prospective Solicitor (and of any worker in the centre of London) is Commercial Awareness, as a result of the fact that businesses rely on the economy and try to maximise their capital in order to grow and compete with rival Firms. Mergers and Acquisitions are key sources of a Law Firm’s turnover, especially for Magic and Silver Circle practices, which means that business acumen and the ability to be decisive are necessary attributes for employees.
How has City helped you towards achieving this goal?
The degrees that City offer are specifically chosen with professions in mind and that makes it unique. It is situated in the heart of London’s Central Business District, with the biggest and most successful Law Firms in the World at its doorstep. It is easy to feel aspirational and the hustle and bustle of busy streets supplies an injection of infectious energy, spurring you on to achieve great things. There is a wealth of notable Alumni, including Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair and Mahatma Gandhi, so it is easy to become inspired. City is not an enormous institution and evokes a less daunting atmosphere. It feels collegiate and welcoming. The LLB course is traditional and well-rounded, offering an education of the fundamental areas of Law. In the 3rd year, there is a vast range of legal units available to choose from, all of which are applicable to City Law Firms. Many electives available to students are rare for a Law School to offer on their syllabus, enhancing the bespoke nature of City Law School and providing students with unique opportunities. Most lecturers have been practitioners at some point in their careers and are exceptionally knowledgeable and experienced, hence why text books supplied are often in fact written by them. They are approachable and encourage students to ask questions, giving the impression that they want to nurture you to the best of their ability. Small tutorial groups ensure that there is debate and discussion and provides everyone with the opportunity to contribute. Postgraduates also provide support sessions, which concentrate on topics that are conceptually difficult to understand. The City Careers team organise Employment Workshops, including Alumni talks and City Law Firm presentations, with advice on obtaining places on Vacation Schemes and Training Contracts to further oneself in the legal profession. Law, especially, is a subject that demands a large proportion of individual study and to an extent, your level of achievement is dependent, not upon the University, but the effort that you dedicate to studying. The Law School is appreciative of this fact, in that it provides an array of resources in the Law Library and subscribes to websites, such as Westlaw and LexisNexis, which guarantees that students have every resource possible at their disposal.
What are your hopes for a future career?
If I pursued a career as a Solicitor, it would always stimulate me mentally, stretching and testing my intellectual ability. In addition, no one day would be the same and I would rely on the expertise acquired throughout my degree. This is important, because University is an expensive investment and it is paramount that the money is well spent. Newly Qualified City Solicitors have one of the best entry salaries of all professions and that makes it an inviting occupation, because I want to be able to afford the nicer things in life, while also enjoying the work that I do. It is important to me that I am able to support my future family, leave a legacy and have made a significant, positive contribution to the World, because you only live once. Furthermore, a major reason for choosing to study Law was my desire to help people to receive a service that they have every right to benefit from and I hope to achieve this in my future career.