Future Solicitor – Pascalle Donders

Hi everyone! I’m Pascalle, I graduated from Nottingham Law School with my LLB in 2018 and recently started my LLM LPC at the University of Law’s Nottingham campus on a part-time basis. I am also the ULaw Nottingham campus ambassador for The Business Update, this allows me to not only improve my commercial awareness but to share initiatives and events that help other students easily improve their commercial awareness as it is a skill most firms look for in their future trainees.

One of the factors which influenced my decision to study law were the legal/criminology aspects of my A-levels. Before this I had always had a curiosity for law but I had never considered a career in law for myself and the start of my university journey was the first time I was doing so. I loved my time at university and it really amplified my passion for the law and cemented the idea that I wanted to become a solicitor. Before this I considered studying computer science as this was also something I was, and still am, interested in.

After graduating from my LLB I decided not to jump straight into the LPC and instead took some time away from full time education. I was fortunate enough to obtain my current job working as an administrator between private client and family teams. My role has given me invaluable insight into the day to day reality of a solicitor as well as more specific insight into private client and family law. The variety of work and differences between both departments have been essential in helping me narrow down what area of law I may be interested in pursuing in the future. The area of law which I am most passionate about is commercial law, particularly intellectual property, due to the fast paced and innovative nature of the work involved which require creative solutions and the constant developments mean you never stop learning something new.

From a personal development perspective, my legal education has really helped me focus on and improve my time management, communication, and organisational skills as well as giving me the confidence I did not previously have. I will be applying for training contracts this application cycle, so I have also been using any free time I can find to research the firms that appeal to me so I can best tailor my applications. I have recently been struggling with imposter syndrome which seems to be quite common among aspiring solicitors. I think this is partly because the competition is so tough and it is easy to feel like you won’t ever get a training contract and you’re not cut out to be a solicitor, as a first-generation university graduate these have been concerns throughout my university career. When I am struggling with imposter syndrome I find it helps if I look back at how far I have already come, the hard work I put in to get here and remind myself that every trainee/solicitor/barrister was inexperienced once, you don’t learn everything instantly and no one expects you to. Celebrate even the smallest achievements!

My advice to any student who is considering a legal career would be to take every opportunity you can whilst you have the time and freedom to do so. It may be a cliché piece of advice that has been repeated often but it is true! There is a lot of competition for legal jobs/training contracts but don’t let that put you off, make sure you show firms your potential and what you can do for them. Take any pro bono opportunities, make valuable connections, get work experience/shadowing at a law firm and make sure you support each other.

Best of luck to any aspiring solicitors/barristers! Feel free to send me a message or any questions you have, you can find me on Instagram @legallynoted.

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