Judge Chris Chritchlow speaks to students as Steve Edge looks on

Law Alumni Panel: Careers Advice and Insight in to the legal profession

Panellists at this event included Steve Edge (1972), Corporate Tax Partner at Slaughter and May; Chris Critchlow (1972), Judge and former Barrister; Mike Stevens (1972), Senior Partner at Cripps Harries Hall; Carl Steele (1993), Partner at Ashfords; Wayne Spillet (2004), Competition Law Counsel at Vodafone Group; and Charlotte Solf (2010), trainee Barrister.

The panellists addressed a lecture theatre packed with Exeter Law students, a coach full of dedicated Cornwall-based Law students, a group of INTO students, and much of the Law School. Everyone in attendance learned a great deal from the guests’ wisdom and experience.

According to Dr Sue Prince, Senior Lecturer and Director of Education in Law, ‘It was an extremely valuable evening with alumni from a range of different backgrounds and experiences.  They were able to discuss the developments in legal recruitment and employability from a wealth of knowledge of various areas of legal practice and took questions from students and staff.  It was an original and interesting approach to learning about the legal profession.’

Because the alumni came from a wide range of backgrounds, they were able to provide students with experience-based advice and perspective on many of the decisions foremost in the minds of aspiring lawyers: whether to be a solicitor or a barrister, whether to work in a big City law firm or a small town. They were also able to provide very specific employability advice, such as how to conduct yourself in an interview at a law firm, what stands out on an application, and steps to becoming a barrister. Perhaps most memorably, the guests tempered their good advice with inspiration, encouraging students to pursue their dream careers—and no doubt knowledge gained at this event will be no small help in achieving those goals.

As alumnus Steve Edge summarised the evening, ‘This was an evening which was, I believe, valuable to the students because it enabled them to quiz a panel with a wide range of experiences and perspectives of life after a law degree and which also illustrated well how much alumni are prepared to do for current generations at their own university. Encouraging all round.’

Head of the Law School Charlotte Waelde sees the event as indicative of the Law School’s strong relationship with its alumni:  ‘The Law School is very proud of the strong links that we have with our alumni. It is events like this one that show how their support can translate into enhancing students’ education whilst improving their employability skills. We look forward to continuing and expanding our collaboration with our alumni into the future.’

Date: 12 March 2012