How to run a law society: Interview with the Women in Law Society at City University
I had the honour to be invited by the City University Women in Law Society to take part in a panel discussion back in 2021. When I was at law school, I barely had the chance to take a shower and these brilliant women are running an inclusive community that inspires women law students with regular events and networking opportunities. I was so impressed by the women that I had to catch up with them for an interview.
Could you please tell us how the “Women in Law Society” started and what is your main focus?
The Women in Law Society at City was started by three 2022 graduates, Ruqayyah, Eve and Katie in their second year at City. The Society has always been a community of women in law who support each other throughout university and their careers. We provide academic events for our members, such as our Mooting Mentorship Programme, and panel events, but also socials to foster the sense of community within the society.
How do you juggle an already demanding degree with organising events and leading a law society? Any organisational skills/ tips are welcome!
Hollie: There is no doubt a law degree is demanding and the reading is endless! It is incredibly difficult to manage time and balance society work, studies and paid work, but if you truly have a passion for what you do, you make it work. I’ve loved being a representative of the society in past years, and the President this year, and so it’s just been about prioritising tasks. Ultimately, studies must come first and events can be delayed if they have to be. Having supportive colleagues both in the Society and the law school has been an incredible help!
Rochelle: Figuring out whether you’re an early bird or a night owl is a good start! I have a set time where I feel more alert to get tasks out of the way, and so it’s best to capitalise on that once you know. I also prefer having all my tasks in one place, whether that’s uni-related, Women in Law related or other personal tasks. Colour coding my calendar has really helped me keep track of what I need to do, and prioritise where necessary.
Shamara: I juggle it by using my planner and planning my time wisely. University can be hard, and I also have other part-time jobs on top of my duties at the Women in Law Society and my studies. However, I make sure to include free time for myself. Every week, I leave out a whole day free (Sabbath) for resting, going to church and fellowship. Ultimately, it is by the grace of God that I can juggle everything.
What have you learnt through running the Women in Law Society?
Hollie: Through being the President of Women in Law this year, I’ve learnt so many things! Not only have I developed essential leadership skills, as well as communication skills between my team, the law school and other societies, but I have also gained confidence and friends. Starting university during a pandemic has been tough and I missed out on a lot of the relationship-building aspects during my first year. Being able to run the society with my team, as well as meeting an array of people who attend our events has been incredible and I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunities and friendships I have gained from running the society.
Rochelle: We always get questions as to why a Women in Law Society is still relevant in 2023, but I’ve learned how important it is for young women to see other successful women in their desired field or industry. There is something so empowering about that, and I’m so glad that the events we’ve run as a society have helped inspire the female lawyers of tomorrow. As for myself, I am indebted to the Society for the personal skills that I’ve been able to develop, such as leadership and communication, and niche ones like marketing through my role as Communications Officer. I have also personally had many opportunities thanks to my position, so if you are thinking about joining a society’s committee next year, go for it!
Shamara: During my time at the Women in Law Society, I learned that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. Working for the society and listening to various top ladies in the legal sphere (who came to speak at some of the society’s events) has taught me this.
Now let’s talk about something essential: stationery! What piece of stationery can you not live without?
Hollie: Anyone who knows me knows I love my stationary! I love tabbing my books, both for personal reading and textbooks, but I can’t live without highlighters. I won’t name any brands, but I love pastel ones in particular, making my study notes look beautiful and useful. A good notebook also has a place reserved in my heart.
Rochelle: I’m equally obsessed with stationery. As a left-handed person, I appreciate a good fast-drying biro that doesn’t smudge! Bonus points if it fits my aesthetic. A cute pen is a must in my pencil case!
Shamara: My favourite piece of stationery is a notebook because of its versatility - you can write whatever you please!
Please tell us about any upcoming events and how people can get involved with the society.
Our 2023 edition of the Moot Mentorship Programme is in the works, with our training day having been completed last month. As the exam period starts and classes wind down, we are less active, but we will be back in October 2023 with more great events! Our membership can be bought from the City Students’ Union website and we’re always looking for people to get involved and become representatives of our society. Each year, we elect a new committee, so if you are passionate about what we do, you can be directly involved!
Feel free to follow us on social media too!
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TikTok - @womeninlawsoc
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