Leeds Law School

Five years into my law career...

I started my legal career at Leeds Beckett University back in 2015. I had absolutely no experience in the legal industry and I was the first person in my family to go to University. I can so easily recall sitting in the lecture theatre during my very first induction. The panic started to set in slightly when the tutors began explaining the long and difficult process of becoming a solicitor. I had no idea what to expect and I could not imagine ever getting to the finish line which seemed way off in the vague and unimaginable future. 
Written By
Molly Ripley
Published on 24 Jul 2020

The next thing I knew, days were turning into weeks and then into months. There were moments of stress and moments of elation as I found myself trying to balance law school, work and life. I was given the opportunity to be paired with a mentor through the Law School’s Professional Mentor Scheme. I was extremely nervous attending my first networking event but the tutors and mentors made me feel so comfortable and I finally had some real insight into the profession.

Before I knew what had happened, three years flew by and somehow I found myself sitting at a graduation ceremony. I had done it! I managed to make it through three years of law school and came out the other side with a law degree and perhaps some premature wrinkles.

After graduation I applied for every legal role going and I finally managed to secure a job at a law firm working as a paralegal. I loved every minute working in a law firm and finally felt closer to qualifying. I knew that I needed to continue my studies, so after a year of working full time I applied to complete the LPC/LLM at Leeds Beckett. 

Once again, I found myself sitting in a lecture theatre at the course induction and once again the panic set in. I had come so far and yet the end was still out of my reach. However, before I could think twice about it, I was launched back into the routine of working, studying and trying to have a life.

Time raced by, but this time it felt distinctly different. For one thing, I was no longer completely inexperienced, and my legal work really helped me to progress on the course.  My fellow students were all working full time by day and studying by night and it made life easier knowing there were others in the same boat as me. 

The seminars were held twice a week after work for three hours each time. Needless to say, our group was constantly exhausted as the evenings could feel particularly long after a full day of work. It was made significantly easier by the relentless enthusiasm of the tutors though. Somehow, they always managed to elicit some unseen energy, so evenings were always lively. 

During my final year at Leeds Beckett I applied for a training contract at the law firm I was working for. By this point, I had two years’ experience under my belt along with the practical knowledge I had gained through the LPC so I finally felt ready (-ish). I couldn’t believe it when I got the call to say I had been successful. I think back to how I felt at 18 years old on my first day of law school looking at the long road ahead. It seemed insurmountable at the time, but 5 years on I often wonder where the time has gone.

I have several years ahead of me before I qualify. I know there will be difficult days and I know it will be hard, but I know I will get there thanks to Leeds Beckett for helping me every step of the way. 

To anyone starting your law degree with Leeds Law School, keep looking forward, work hard and don’t give up, because one day you will look up and realise you have made it!

Molly Ripley

Molly completed her studies at Leeds Law School, and now has a training contract at a law firm.

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