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Three law graduates share their biggest fear before starting law school

Starting law school can be a daunting experience. I can still remember my first law lecture at Université Jean Moulin in Lyon and that was about a decade ago now – eek! I was petrified. That first lecture felt like the professor was speaking a foreign language and I was starting to have serious doubts about my ability to even understand a single concept.

Back when I started studying there were not any law bloggers, or at least I was not tech-savvy enough to find them (no surprises there then). Through my experiences with Rama Publishing and the Ratio notebook for law students’, I’ve noticed the rise of law bloggers: law students who share their experiences at law school in order to help their fellow students get the most out of their time at law school.

In this article, I would like to introduce you to three such law graduates that I have been admiring on Instagram and wishing were around when I was starting law school. They each give an insight into how they felt before law school and how they overcame their fears to thrive in this environment.

 

Alexandra Wilson

@buddingbarrister

What was your biggest fear before starting law school?

Before I began my course I was scared that I wasn’t smart enough to do Law. I attended a state school. During A-Levels it become apparent to me that due to lack of resources, teachers only dedicated time and support for those who were destined for Oxbridge or Russell Groups. I was told by multiple teachers not to do Law and to choose another subject. 

 

How did you overcome it?

I studied Law at A-level and it was one of the first subjects I took a genuine interest in. I’d catch myself researching everything I possibly could. I was hooked. I decided to go against my teachers advice and to study a course I was passionate about. I worked extremely hard in University and graduated in the July of 2018 with a 2:1. 

I overcame the fear by believing in myself. My confidence and fear definitely didn’t disappear as soon as I began the course. It took time. During my first year when I began to receive firsts in exams, I was in disbelief. That makes me incredibly sad. I was programmed to think I wasn’t good enough. By the end of my degree I was a different person. I was armoured with confidence and determination. 

Since gaining my scholarship to study the Bar Training Course LLM this year, my old school has been in contact. They have asked if I will come and talk to current A-Level students about the route to becoming a barrister. Don’t give up.

 

Bethany Walker

@bethanyewalker

What was your biggest fear before starting law school?

My biggest fear before Law School was how I was going to pursue a career in the legal profession and utilise the degree I was working towards without coming from a ‘traditional legal background’. I questioned whether I would ever be able to fulfil my ambitions and even before starting Law School, I had so much self-doubt.

 

How did you overcome it? 

Although the legal profession still has a long way to go to fully achieve diversity and inclusion, as soon as I entered my first week at Law School, I was introduced to fantastic organisations seeking to support ordinary students like myself, who have not traditionally seen representation in the legal profession. For example, Aspiring Solicitors gave me confidence in myself that I could achieve anything at university and with my degree in the future; regardless of background. If you have any doubt in yourself, utilise these organisations and remember there are people fighting for diversity and your representation! You truly can achieve anything by just being yourself.

 

Lorraine Chimbga

@lorrainechimbga

What was your biggest fear before starting law school?

One of my biggest fears before starting law school was that I was highly aware that I had no connections to the industry or profession before starting university. Having heard stories from other immigrant families on how it was all about who you knew rather than what you knew, I worried if I would even become a lawyer.

 

How did you overcome it? 

However, some of the great support and advice that I had from my father was that the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time and that action drives out fear. Instead, I focused on making my own connections without focusing on what I lacked, I got involved as much as I could through our law society's events and attending events held by the profession. Through that, I was able to gain confidence and understanding of what it would mean to become a lawyer.
For any aspiring lawyer I would say while the law is competitive, don't let your fears hold you back. Always give it a go and think of creative ways to stand out - you'll be surprised how far you can go.


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