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14 things every law soc president will understand

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I can’t believe I agreed to a whole year of this…

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Congratulations to all the law students who have been elected as their university’s law soc president. It’s going to be an interesting year. Take it from someone who has been there and done it: Jemima Lovatt, UCL graduate and founding president of the University of London Legal Forum. Looking back, Jemima shares her top 14 things all law soc presidents will be able to relate to.

1. Fear and loathing in law soc

You will spend the whole year worrying that you’re turning into a dictator and, in truth, you probably are.

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2. Google Docs <3

Google Docs will come to rule your life, and you will live in constant fear of a committee member deleting your beautifully colour-coded spreadsheet.

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3. Student admin fun

Having to book rooms for talks and other events means you will have an increased level of contact with student services. Have fun — they really are a laugh a minute.

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4. Training contract dreams

You spend your days with your fingers and toes permanently crossed, hoping all this extra-curricular work means a training contract is in the bag. The dream is being offered one casually over dinner with a partner. This rarely happens, but it can do…

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5. Taking it personal

When members sign up and then don’t attend an event, it’s hard not to take it personally.

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6. Lawkward

Committee members sleeping together makes everything a little awkward.

7. Mine mine mine

The ability to delegate is really just an aspirational, abstract concept. You’ll end up doing everything yourself anyway.

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8. The nostalgia

Running the law society becomes not only your extra-curricular hobby but also your life. Remember how you used to play netball or swim. Isn’t that a nice memory to have?

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9. Grad recruitment

Grad rec managers are absolutely lovely (especially when they give you a little dollar), until they have to produce a partner willing to speak at an event. Emails explaining that trainees will be speaking instead becomes the norm.

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10. Chin chin

Alcohol is a great coping mechanism. Welcome to the rest of your life!

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11. The power struggle

There is a weird superiority complex with graduate recruitment managers. I think it’s mainly fuelled by a fear that you’ll never get a training contract and will end up in HR.

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12. No one cares

No one else cares quite as much about the law society as you do.

13. Training contract?

If you get to the end of the year and you don’t have a training contract offer you will ask yourself: WHY?! But…

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14. It’s worth it for the connections

Hopefully you’ll get a few more insta followers or LinkedIn connections out of your year of hell.

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20 Comments

Anonymous

Do firms or chambers actually care about posts held in a Law Society, or even whether you could be arsed to join? I never bothered and was never asked about it at interview. Didn’t hold me back at all.

If I had been asked I would have said – truthfully – that I thought I could do better things with my time both socially and as preparation for a career in law.

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s.32, Salmon Act 1986

A Law Soc position is certainly better than a blank spot on your CV, but may not showcase your talents, as most firms realise that Law Soc elections are mostly popularity contests. Try for more merit-based opportunities like writing for the law magazine (or, if your uni doesn’t have such a thing, set one up) or do a few mooting competitions. Those are the sorts of things that make a CV stand out (assuming you have all the necessary academic results to back it up).

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Anonymous

This, exactly. Law societies fail down in the fact they have a complete lack of meritocracy. I certainly would not be impressed by a Law Soc position, perhaps unless they actually did something with the role. But even if they did something with the role, the same skills can be shown in other pursuits.

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Anonymous

You clearly do not know what it takes to be committed to a position within the law society. I spend 3 – 4 evenings meeting with people, looking for sponsorship, arranging events, replying to emails and worrying about million things at once. If that is not enough to prove that one is a responsible, dedicated and mature candidate to work at a law firm, then I am sorry but I do not know what will.

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Anonymous

“..think it’s mainly fuelled by a fear that you’ll never get a training contract and will end up in HR on the dole, or, even worse, working for Legal Cheek”

Fixed that for you.

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Anonymous

2 city vacation schemes, did not secure a TC..

Just graduated, now on the dole, lol.

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Anonymous

Worked in the Union as a SWD officer, numerous other societies, no TC; ended up mending shoes… got a TC as ‘Retired Cobbler’ made my CV stand out; no joke!

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Anonymous

So true, I mean if they have a role in a law society maybe they’d be perfect for writing for this online platform. It appears that you don’t need any sort of skill set for this, bad writing, being able to copy stories wrong, making up information. I don’t think it would be too hard!

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Anonymous

As a former law soc president it was something I was asked extensively about it my TC interviews (especially for the firm that hired me) and something I could draw a lot on for competency questions. More than that it was a lot of fun and I’ve got a lot of great friends through it – no regrets!

(10)(6)

Anonymous

What is with the picture of me at the end?!????!!!!!!!???????????!?

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Words of Wise Wisdom

My experience with the law society at my uni was this – the majority were a bunch of entitled, self-promoting, arrogant human beings. Never got involved, nor did I want to. The attitude from committee members was an air of superiority, floating around their 2nd year peers like the aristocracy, which was hard to not be intimidated by at 18 – 19 years old. These ruthless people around you, who knew exactly why a career in law was for them as soon as they hit 1st year (i.e. constructing some half-baked notion in their heads, which they thought they could confidently be espoused due to their said membership/Committee positions in the law society). And of course, in 2nd – 3rd year, those fake inner friendships within the law society committee fell apart as they saw each other as competitors for TCs.

I am sure there are some good, decent human beings on student law society boards, but unfortunately at my university they were in the minority.

Nevertheless, last laugh is on them – they ended up with training contracts at some mediocre behemoths, and I am at a very well regarded US firm. Not trying to gloat, just letting any 1st years reading – joining the law society is not the be all and end all that it is easy to seem when you first join uni. Go out and do your own thing at uni and take initiative, you’ll have much more fun.

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Anonymous

This ↑↑↑↑↑

(3)(0)

You're so vain...

🎼 You prob-ly think this post is about yo-ou🎤

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Trump's locker room bantz

Being a law soc prez gave me access to swarms of moist poon, desperate for help with their TCs.

I’m top of equity at Jones Day now.

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Anonymous

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Anonymous

There used to be one, but she got the sack.

By which I mean, an equity partner’s sack.

(16)(0)

Trump's locker room bantz

Epic bantz, my friend. 10/10.

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Anonymous

Google Docs? You’ll need to abandon that when you get into practice. It’s Microsoft Office, Exchange, and case management software or bust tbh love.

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Creepy old uncle

This post has been removed because it breached Legal Cheek’s comments policy.

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Anon 7 of 9

Amazing

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Comments are closed.