The best things about representing a law firm on campus

As the application deadline nears for Norton Rose Fulbright’s 12 university manager positions, King’s College London second year law student Brian Ramamoorthy looks back on what he has learned from the role

“There are lots of perks to being a university manager,” says Brian Ramamoorthy. For the past six months, the aspiring solicitor has been representing Norton Rose Fulbright at his university, King’s College London, to help the firm reach as many students as possible, and to help the students learn as much as they can about the firm.

It’s a partnership, a word that is mentioned often in Ramamoorthy’s interview with Legal Cheek Careers. He works with the global outfit’s graduate recruiters to help plan events, promote the firm and make sure students are aware of deadlines. He benefits not just because he gains a good contact base at the firm, but because having this internal tie to the firm has helped second year LLB-er Ramamoorthy see Norton Rose Fulbright, and commercial legal practice more generally, from a different, fresher perspective.

His stellar relationship with the international law firm’s graduate recruitment team, he tells us, is one of the best things about being a university manager, but it’s one of many.

Take his partnership with Norton Rose Fulbright’s 11 other university managers. Though stationed across the country, there’s comradery between them. He tells us:

I have met the other university managers at different Norton Rose Fulbright events and we all keep in touch and give each other advice. It’s very friendly and helpful.

University manager work demands student interaction, so it’s not surprising that American-schooled Ramamoorthy cites “meeting new people” as another perk of the job. Not all aspiring lawyers fit the ‘King’s College LLB undergrad’ mould, so university managers spend time chatting (and often becoming friends) with non-law students and post-grads who might otherwise have passed them by.

A strong connection with graduate recruitment and new friendships aside, when asked what the best thing about being a university manager is, Ramamoorthy says one thing sticks out more for him than anything else:

The best thing is seeing students progress from not knowing very much about the firm at all, to acquiring a place at Norton Rose Fulbright, and knowing I was part of that process.

Ramamoorthy — who is the treasurer of his university’s law society — is thrilled to report he helped out a King’s College London student who secured a vac scheme at the firm this year, plus the university teams who entered Norton Rose Fulbright’s GP challenge. “It’s a great feeling to know I helped these students along the way,” Ramamoorthy reflects.

To achieve this sense of satisfaction, you need to be committed to the role and the work it demands to do it well. The beginning of the year is the busiest (lucky, because this is when students have the least exams and coursework deadlines.) This early peak in work, Ramamoorthy tells us, occurs for a number of reasons.

Firstly, university managers are keen to interact with students while they’re freshly rested and motivated, to encourage them to engage with the firm early on (did you never wonder why law fairs happen so early in the year?)

Secondly, there are a number of deadlines that swing by in students’ first terms. Ramamoorthy gives us the example of vac schemes for second and third years.

Thirdly, and importantly for university manager success, “you need to work out what your strategy is” early on. Though there’s scope to refine your strategy throughout (Ramamoorthy for example uses a tracking link to see how his social media posts are performing), it’s best to put the hours in during the first few weeks of the academic year to make sure you know when upcoming deadlines and events are and how you’re going to approach them.

Unsurprisingly then, Ramamoorthy thinks it’s very important university managers have excellent organisation skills if they want to do the job properly. He says:

Planning ahead is crucial — you don’t want to miss a deadline.

Ramamoorthy and his eleven student counterparts will be passing their Norton Rose Fulbright university manager batons on at the end of the academic year. Applications for Norton Rose Fulbright’s 2017-18 university manager positions close on Friday 14 April. Find out more here.

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