In early March, I recorded a podcast hosted by Harry Clark for his very brilliant and useful ‘More From Law’ series. The episode (#13 in the series – lucky for some…) is now out, and you can listen to it below, on Spotify, on iTunes or on Cast. We cover self-confidence, my route to law, how to present yourself, mistakes I made along the way to getting a training contract (and how you can learn not to do them!), and the importance of self-care and creating a sense of self that can withstand uncertainty – even more critical during coronavirus.
I hope this episode will provide help and support for not only your applications, but for anyone struggling to see their own worth or who may be feeling out-of-control or anxious (with or without the pandemic).
Some of the Silks and the City blog posts mentioned or which cover the topics discussed in this podcast, and which may be of use for more in-depth info include:
- Learn In The Time of Corona – a series of blog posts covering coping with online class, how to build a schedule and how to stay connected to yourself and others
- Wellbeing resources – a whole mountain of posts aimed at helping you support and improve your physical and mental wellbeing
- Improving self-confidence – a link to the confidence post from the What Happens When series
- My thorough and fairly comprehensive ‘How To’ series on applications and assessment centres – with dedicated posts taking you from researching and applying through to getting your offer, and the many steps in between
- How to cope with a pandemic – written a few hours after the recording of this podcast, and which covers strategies more in-depth
- How to deal with life’s curve-balls – another from the What Happens When series
- Getting ‘Fit For Law’
- How your mature student status can be an asset
Just as with the TCLA podcast I did for ‘Trainee Talks’ – I have time-stamped all the questions and topics so that you can jump around the episode if you wish. This one is more bite-sized at a snip under half an hour – the ideal amount of time to listen with a cup of tea or coffee.
- 0:55 – I answer the big “Why law?” question and how I got to where I am now. I touch on how being hospitalised and severely unwell for more than a decade shaped me wanting to pursue law – not something I had ever considered when I was younger. I also talk about why a particular phrase has become my mantra and helped motivate me to become a lawyer.
- 04:00 – Harry asks me about how my “unusual” route to law impacted the application process. I talk about the importance of being able to be congruent, have integrity and be able to own and re-frame difficult experiences so that they become assets and positives. I also discuss the fact that ‘alternative’ qualifications need not be a bar to you getting where you want to go.
- 06:28 – Harry and I talk about imposter syndrome, how to boost self-confidence and why I think it’s important to be a friend to yourself. I touch on what I call the “Computer Says No” issue, and the struggle to recognise your own abilities especially when systems aren’t programmed to accept ‘different’ experiences or qualifications. I also talk about how to talk to yourself when you’re struggling – how a friend would, and other strategies to help like “dressing for the job you want”.
- 12:47 – we talk about application strategy, and why you should do as I say/write and not what I did. I lay out my top three tips for success: knowing yourself, asking others for help and applying to a firm you genuinely love. Harry and I also talk about the fact that it is important to remember that it is a two-way process.
- 20:23 – why I started Silks And The City, and how a bath was the key. What I don’t say is that I feel strongly about equal access to education and career opportunities, and that a bumpy path need not mean you can’t get where you want to go – and this blog is aimed at giving people a step-up and provide hope and help to all. That has been the inspiration, aspiration and motivation – and something I think we often need in the competitive, long and at times overwhelming process through to qualification. I have definitely felt lost and did not know where to start or how to begin – so I wanted to be able to help provide some directions, roadmaps and shortcuts for others similarly lost or who are (for whatever reason) struggling to get where they want to go.
- 23:10 – how to get ‘Fit for Law’. I give my advice on how we can help ourselves, help others, and cope with uncertainty, anxiety and stress. I also highlight how important it is for us to cultivate, feed and support our mental and physical wellbeing while building a ‘label-less’ identity than can withstand life’s difficulties.
More about Harry Clark: Harry is a future trainee solicitor at Baker McKenzie, and all-star blogger, mentor + podcaster. You can follow him on his social media here, as well as check out his own blog. He devotes a lot of time to helping students and aspiring lawyers, and is a goldmine of information, hope and help.
More about More From Law: “Looking to get more from law? Then this podcast is for you! Learn about the latest developments in the legal industry with a variety of interviews, deep-dive analysis, commentary and discussion designed to broaden your legal horizon. Whether you’re a seasoned legal professional or aspirational law student, each episode will grant you a new insight into how you can jumpstart your understanding beyond the letter of the law.”
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