Sincere thanks to Legal Executive, Alexander Millward of local law firm Thomson, Snell and Passmore for coming into Wilmington Academy to speak with Year 12 law students recently.
Giving an overview of his career thus far, Alexander explained his route having studied at University before becoming a Paralegal and progressing onto then becoming a Legal Executive. This ties in nicely with students’ current studies as they are learning about how criminal and civil cases are taken up and dealt with in the English Legal System.
Alexander wasn’t the most academic candidate and has had to work hard to achieve his goals, keeping his desire to work in the legal profession as a light at the end of the tunnel when working long hours. Alexander mentioned he enjoyed his job explaining that his career in employment law is varied in that he never knows what new cases will come through the door and that his role is very much one of helping people. This provided an excellent backdrop and motivational tool for students who are making the hard adjustment from GCSE to Level 3 studies.
There are many roles within the profession and Alexander discussed aspects of each in relation to his own career:
This role gives a good all around knowledge, grounding and experience of the legal world including the systems of how a law firm works
The legal secretary is an integral part of any legal team in helping to manage both people and caseloads
A barrister would usually only become involved in a contentious case or a tribunal. The case arguments, witness statements and client relationships are handled by a paralegal who would then pass on the mantle to a barrister.
Alexander illustrated his talk with examples from his career explaining that if you don’t try, you won’t succeed. It is essential to have faith in yourself; if you’ve put in the groundwork , you will get it right.
He further went on to elaborate on possible pathways to a legal career including University, apprenticeships and CiLEX.
For students wanting to pursue a legal career, top tips were to research law firms that students might want to work for and really get to know what the company ethos is and its people. Experience is important so it’s always worth asking to shadow staff in their working day.
A kind offer has been made for students at Wilmington Academy to visit the Thomson, Snell and Passmore Dartford office so we look forward to students benefiting from seeing Alexander’s working environment in 2019.