Ahead of next week’s IN-PERSON workshops and networking evening in Manchester, barrister turned ULaw tutor Kate Hammond takes part in a quick-fire Q&A with the Legal Cheek Careers team
Legal Cheek Careers speaks to University of Law (ULaw) tutor Kate Hammond to get the lowdown on life at the bar and Manchester’s thriving legal scene, ahead of her appearance at next week’s in-person workshops and networking evening in the city with global law firms with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, CMS and Eversheds Sutherland. Check out our quick-fire Q&A with Hammond below…
Can you briefly tell us about your background and your role at The University of Law.
I was a criminal barrister and joined the ULaw last year. I have lectured on most of the courses taught at Ulaw specialising in crime and criminology. This year I am teaching skills and advocacy and crime on the Bar Practice Course and LLM.
You practised as a solicitor before transferring across to the bar. What prompted the switch?
I had undertaken a number of roles at the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and was a Crown Advocate so using my higher rights by appearing in the Crown Court. Unfortunately, there were limited opportunities to improve or advance my career within the CPS and I wanted to continue as a Crown Court advocate so I switched to the bar.
What skills are valuable for a career at the bar?
The main skills are being able to master large amounts of information in a short time scale and to then be able to explain it to others.
How have you seen Manchester’s legal scene develop over the past decade?
There has been massive changes in the courts and how advocates have had to master IT and new technologies. Some good and some bad. The under valued and thus underfunded system is broken and its very sad to see.
What connections does The University for Law have with local chambers and law firms?
ULaw has a large alumni base and good links with the local chambers and firms. We have a number of events lined up for students to meet and network — including next week’s event with Legal Cheek! This also includes escorted court visits and pro bono opportunities.
How does The University of Law support students who are looking for a pupillage or training contract?
ULaw tutors were on the whole practicing lawyers and use that knowledge to guide our students on what experience will be needed to be on their CV (as we were on pupillage committees and the like). We have academic coaches for each student providing access to a tutor on a one-to-one basis and we have our employability services to support our students in their onward path.
What is the best piece of careers advice you have given or received?
Do what you enjoy and makes you fulfilled, and don’t be afraid to move on or switch path.
Join us on the evening of Tuesday 8 November for a series of in-person careers and commercial awareness workshops with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, CMS, Eversheds Sutherland and The University of Law. The event, which is free and open to all students, takes place from 5pm to 8pm at The University of Law’s campus in Manchester. APPLY NOW.
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