Meet the law graduate whose passion for vlogging helped her reach triple training contract offer glory

From De Montfort University to law students’ dream hat-trick

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Despite their best efforts, law firms tend to be a step behind other professions in the social media stakes.

The world of vlogging — which has only come to prominence in recent years — is the antithesis of this. Modern and trendy, vlogging (a combination of ‘video’ and ‘blogging’) is quickly becoming an industry in itself.

‘Vlogger’ and ‘solicitor’ are words that, to the traditional legal mind, don’t quite gel. Yet Coleen Mensa is proof documenting your life on YouTube can help you reach training contract glory, three times over.

Law graduate Mensa has been vlogging in both her personal and professional (she vlogs for LawCareers.net) capacity for years, and has a social media following to die for. With over 11,000 Twitter followers and 10,000 Instagram followers, it’s safe to say Mensa is a bit of a social media superstar.

Youtube – "let's talk about" series with the wonderful Mr Whitelock !

A photo posted by Coleen (@coleenmensa) on

Unsurprisingly, then, sharing personal information online isn’t something she is shy about. Speaking to Legal Cheek, Mensa explains:

Talking to the camera feels natural to me. Yes, it’s personal content but if you are as comfortable with speaking as you are with writing, vlogging is just another way to express yourself.

While Mensa, who makes at least one YouTube video a month in her professional capacity, admits planning, filming and editing videos can be time-consuming especially in busy exam/TC hunt periods, proper time management solves all. She continues:

[I]t’s key to balance your time. If I’m in the office then clearly that takes priority, but I see social media as an outlet and if people want to get on board with it, then that’s great.

Being a social media VIP is something that’s becoming more and more common among law students and graduates, with YouTube proving a particularly popular outlet.

Take Durham Law School’s Katherine Baker, who has amassed a five-figure following on her popular channel BeautyByKat08. YouTuber Chelsie Angeles — a Westminster law student — has managed to gain a respectable number of watchers while rubbing shoulders with the likes of David Beckham. Then there’s bar hopeful Tina Lee Robles who, like Mensa, shares personal information about her life at law school with her following.

But just because it’s becoming more popular doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be careful about what you say, especially when the subject matter discussed is particularly sensitive. City University LPC graduate Mensa realises this:

You have to approach vlogging as you would any other social media platform. Social media, if used in the right way, can open up a lot of opportunities. But you need to remember people can see your accounts at any time. It takes one video to go viral for people to get the wrong impression of you.

Social media savviness is key, especially in the — sometimes ultra-conservative — world of law. A number of firms even have their own policies, as Mensa discovered during a stint at a magic circle outfit at which she was embargoed from making tweets, etc, about the firm. But, if you bear this in mind, vlogging can “certainly” be a CV booster:

Vlogging is my hobby, but it is also a differentiator. Social media can be a really valuable way to build your network and develop your brand. I feel that most law firms recognise this, and proactively use social media and video technology for recruitment, such as advertising events and carrying out video interviews.

Take it from Mensa; her hard work has certainly paid off. Having begun her legal education at De Montfort University, the Pinsent Masons paralegal has achieved every law student’s dream and received a hat-trick of training contract offers — one at a magic circle firm, one at a US firm and one at a Big Four accountancy firm. It didn’t take long before she made a video about it.

As for future plans, Mensa “definitely” wants to keep up with vlogging when she starts her training. She even hopes to create a new channel especially for law students where she shares her experience of life in the legal profession. With a training contract at EY lined up for September 2017, she might be a bit stretched for time.

61 Comments

Jimi Hendrix QC

What’s a pedant? You know what they mean, dude, don’t try to be snarky.

(12)(2)
Anonymous

Ah, I used to teach Colleen. She’s lovely and I am glad things are going so well for her!

(32)(2)
Anonymous

TC offer from a MC firm and a US firm and she decided to go with EY? What a joker.

(67)(8)
Anonymous

probably because of the start date though? she is hot either way!

(6)(13)
Curiator

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

(0)(5)
Curiator

Original comment got deleted but was just saying her looks deffo played a part and TBH I have seen her at law events some times she knows how to work a room. Good on her either way

(11)(7)
Jimi Hendrix QC

I also know how to work a room.

Your mum’s bedroom, to be precise.

(14)(2)
Anonymous

I kept thinking that… Allegedly MC’s and American ones but no mention of a name!

(2)(2)
Anonymous

Wish she took the US or MC firm offer and firmed the 2 year wait… names like that on your CV will take you a long way! Either way she’ll make it work like she has already thus far

(9)(1)
Anonymous

Fair play to the girl for being successful, but my word her videos are dull. I struggle to believe any firm would watch them and be impressed, she’s far from articulate.

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

(10)(8)
Anonymous

Why must people be so negative and hate on others? Fill the world with love not hate!

(10)(4)
Anonymous

You’ve clearly never been to the LC comments section before. Sorry, but you won’t fit in here.

(4)(3)
Anonymous

The comment above was more about the negativity in the comments section and this sunny, nice comment not fitting that tone. A different commenter referenced being gay.

(0)(0)
Anonymous

They aren’t overly engaging but I’m sure other people find them useful!

Maybe she is more engaging in her travel and lifestyle ones?

(1)(1)
Ellie

Good on her. I’ve got my own vlog and it’s always met with mixed reactions from employers so nice to see a positive story here

(0)(4)
Anonymous

Most employers really like vlogs – I guess it all depends on what you are vlogging about though!

(0)(2)
Anonymous

I have played the video. It seems that Colleen was a real estate paralegal, and then a telecoms paralegal. She worked on arbitrations in telecoms. She tried to get a training contract for 8 years. The one she got, if I remember, had a competence test, a telephone interview – where they asked her non competence questions like what energises her – and then an assessment day.
She waited 6 weeks before the verdict on her assessment day performance. When the firm offered her the TC by phone, the caller mentioned that she had outshone everyone.
She believes that persistence pays off when applying for TCs.
She mentioned that she had a mentor who works at Freshfields who was excellent.

What is interesting for me is – if you read the comments thread on the LC feature about working in a US law firm (which is about 10 LC features behind this one) – that an interview panel there thinks she would be comfortable among young professionals like them.

To me this means that this pleasant young lady, with an eye for self brand promotion granted, could work for Halliburton or Goldman Sachs – not only without flinching but prospering while doing so. I think that is a shame.

I wonder what kind of traction the likes of Michael Moore and Naomi Klein – anti globalization style filmmakers, as you know – or Bob Marley and Martin Luther King – get with the young today, if someone like Colleen is found to be trying for 8 years to join the key disciples and cooperators of globalization. (Magic Circle and US firms, EY)

“I have a dream that one day God’s children in China will be working in manufacturing for multinational organisations in sweatshop conditions – until they drop to sleep where they stand – and that a select bunch of God’s children in England and the US will be processing the contracts and the arbitration disputes that arise out of the ensuing sales and distribution process. Some of those children will persist for eight years to join that select bunch – along the way they will fell like they are looking down a long dark corridor with no exit signs – but one or more of them will be rewarded for their persistence by a telephone call which will change their status overnight ! I believe in that, and I live by it.”

Is that the re edit of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, that is bubbling up through society now ?

(7)(15)
Anonymous

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

(1)(2)
Anonymous

I think she meant that the dispute she was helping with had been going on for 8 years…?

(0)(0)
Anonymous

What the fuck are you on about? 8 years to obtain a TC does not make you some sort of fucking prodigy..

(10)(0)
Anonymous

easy to trivialise her success by commenting on her appearance….

(10)(1)
Anonymous

I’m sorry but de montfort? How on earth could she possibly get three training contract offers with that garbage on her cv? Is this some sort of prank? Alex, own up.

(25)(8)
Anonymous

I know! Successful following? All from the beauty and travel background…

(0)(0)
Anonymous

Imagine some off road terrain, perhaps at the Land Rover 4 x 4 centre somewhere in the countryside.

Since anyone can remember the centre has been host to Porsche Cayennes, Range Rovers, Land Rovers and Nissan Patrols.

The uninitiated observer clocks the power and expense of these vehicles and assumes it is a difficult course to navigate needing all the high spec options like hi – lo gearbox, 180 bhp and 400NM torque minimum, free wheeling hubs and an internal safety cage.

However, the equity partners…whoops… the most experienced of the drivers realize that you could get around the course in a 60bhp Fiat Panda 4 x 4 because, in reality, either the whole course is not that hard afterall, or there is a path through it that 60 bhp can cope with.

I suggest that the course is not that hard. It is virgin snow for those with a law degree from university, whether it is Brasenose Oxford, or De Montford Leicester.

Does that help your understanding of the minimal difference, so far as equity partners are concerned, of an LPC graduate with some paralegal experience from De Montford versus a Porsche Cayenne of a Prince Harry girlfriend or a movie star’s wife, or an Oxbridge Range Rover ? A tenant who will make your equity grow by chargeable hours is a tenant who can churn documents that have been churned a thousand times before 🙂

(2)(5)
Anonymous

So what you’re saying is it doesn’t matter where you go as long as you have the experience and skill? I sure learned a lot today.

(3)(1)
Anonymous

Imagine some off road terrain, perhaps at the Land Rover 4 x 4 centre somewhere in the countryside.

Since anyone can remember the centre has been host to Porsche Cayennes, Range Rovers, Land Rovers and Nissan Patrols.

The uninitiated observer clocks the power and expense of these vehicles and assumes it is a difficult course to navigate needing all the high spec options like hi – lo gearbox, 180 bhp and 400NM torque minimum, free wheeling hubs and an internal safety cage.

However, the equity partners…whoops… the most experienced of the drivers realize that you could get around the course in a 60bhp Fiat Panda 4 x 4 because, in reality, either the whole course is not that hard afterall, or there is a path through it that 60 bhp can cope with.

I suggest that the course is not that hard. It is virgin snow for those with a law degree from university, whether it is Brasenose Oxford, or De Montford Leicester.

Does that help your understanding of the minimal difference, so far as equity partners are concerned, of an LPC graduate with some paralegal experience from De Montford versus a Porsche Cayenne of a Prince Harry girlfriend or a movie star’s wife, or an Oxbridge Range Rover ? A tenant who will make your equity grow by chargeable hours is a tenant who can churn documents that have been churned a thousand times before….

(0)(3)
Anonymous

Not quite sure how being a travel and lifestyle blogger means she has a successful legal following?

A handful of law videos for LawCareers.Net don’t make her a law vlogger!

And now she is considering running just a law channel as well? Shouldn’t she just focus on what she does already!

Plenty of other inspirational people already putting out great legal content, and her story is no different to the many other great students who aren’t documenting their life online!

(0)(2)
Anonymous

Oh why dont we have just one Pop singer, one politician, one footballer, one friend(!) Because different people appeal to different types of people! You can’t just say someone shouldn’t do something because someone else is doing it when theres space for more than just one!

(6)(1)
Anonymous

Of:

negged for being a commie loser (Anonymous 11.59)

What is your dream comrade ?

Please will you re edit Martin Luther King’s speech for yourself, as I did for Colleen.

I am on 5 thumbs either side here, at the time of writing, and to my pleasant surprise, you are two thumbs down with none in favour.

When I last looked on the American Law Firm article someone replied to a comment of mine along the lines of “City law is not for you, get off the thread” and was up 21 votes for and 1 against.

The beauty of the Legal Cheek website is that we know you have the skill and the written voice to be able to re edit Martin Luther King’s speech as it applies to you, and if you did it that would be a portal of discovery. I mean that. I am young enough to change my dream for yours, if yours is the better. Go on, please do it. 🙂

(0)(3)
Anonymous

That isn’t what I was saying… I totally get that we need more than one person in a profession, I am not stupid!

I meant if she has such a successful YouTube channel for beauty/travel/lifestyle (which she does not upload regularly on) and will be starting a TC in September, maybe she should focus on what she is doing. It will be a tough couple of years.

Clearly she is inspirational in her field, and I have massive respect for her.

(0)(1)
Anonymous

No doubt she is a stunning lady with excellent personal online branding but Legal Cheek does this mean that vlogging is the way forward now?!

(2)(1)
anon

Where is her Youtube channel with 300,000 subscribers? I can’t seem to find it.

(1)(2)
Curiator

Doesn’t she use a diff name for YouTube? I’m sure it was up earlier under wondering cokes or something

(2)(0)
Anonymous

The vlog is very tedious. In fact I went to sleep 3x over.

It is also poorly edited.

(4)(1)
Primordial life form slithing momentarily out from beneath a rock buried under mud at bottom of pond

Must be hard for firms to comply with the diversity requirements

(1)(3)
Anonymous

Looks tarty & vlogging is dumbing down the legal profession. Where are the classy ladies in law?

(3)(2)
Anonymous

Ugh comments are appalling. So much thinly veiled prejudice and hatred.

(1)(0)
Anonymous

I was extremely skeptical before I pressed play, but she is very likable. Good for her!

(3)(0)

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