College partnership with law firm

Sheffield College law students will keep on top of the latest developments in the legal profession, thanks to a new partnership.

Solicitors and paralegals at Howells Solicitors in Sheffield have volunteered to be mentors offering one-to-one advice to 25 students over the coming year as part of a new law interest group recently set up at Hillsborough College, Livesey Street. The firm has agreed to provide work shadowing opportunities, and is donating its copies of the Law Society Gazette free to students. It has also paid for an academic diary for all of Hillsborough College’s 400 A Level students.

College tutor Christine Moorey, a former employment law solicitor who set up the partnership, said: “The legal profession is very competitive, and can be difficult to break into. This initiative aims to inspire our students, who come from all backgrounds, to consider a career in law by benefiting from mentoring and work shadowing. They will gain a practical insight into the profession and enhance their career opportunities and prospects.”

Seventeen-year-old Grant Robinson is one of the students who will benefit from shadowing a solicitor for a day, and being mentored.

He said: “I want to broaden my knowledge of how law works and what effect it has on society. I will gain first hand experience and I can ask for advice on any topics to do with law whether it’s applying for a law degree or getting a training contract afterwards. All the advice, knowledge and work experience I am gaining from the law interest group is developing my skills and giving me a greater understanding of the roles that underline being a solicitor.”

The Howells mentors include solicitor Tom Bernard. He said: “As a mentor I want to help someone realise that they can achieve what they want and help them have the confidence in their ability to succeed.

I know how difficult it can be when you are embarking on a career in law and I can pass on my experience.”

Paralegal Danny Smith added: “I want to show that regardless of background, people can still succeed in going to university if they put their mind to it.”

Heather Smith, principal of Hillsborough College, added: “We are committed to equipping our students with the work-related skills that employers need, and we know that A-Level students who complete work experience have a stronger case for their university applications than those who do not. I’d like to thank Howells Solicitors for their support, which will enable our students to keep on top of industry developments and broaden their knowledge. “

Pam Kenworthy, Partner at Howells Solicitors, said: “We are delighted to be working with The Sheffield College on this new initiative that will enable students to gain an insight into the legal profession and receive support and guidance.

The response to the mentoring programme at Howells has been extremely positive with over 40 of our solicitors and paralegals volunteering to take part in the scheme.

“By engaging with students through mentoring we hope to inspire young people to aim high in their ambitions, regardless of their background, and encourage them to fulfil their potential.

At a time when competition for university placements and employment is increasing, it is important for students to gain as much experience as possible in order to gain that advantage.”

lGo to www.sheffcol.ac.uk or call 0114 2602600.