Meet Vyara! A second year Coventry University student studying International Law. We caught up with her to ask about her time with Allen and Overy Law firm in Coventry:
Vyara (V): I thought this would be the best opportunity for me to gain insight of employment law and apply it to practice, challenge myself and learn more. It also helped me develop my skills and enhance my employability prospects. Furthermore, the chance to be able to collaborate with solicitors and learn from them is invaluable for a student who is looking to pursue a career in law.
Q: Do you feel like the recruitment process helped to prepare you for applications and interviews?
Yes, definitely! I have learnt different techniques of how to write applications and CVs as well as what questions usually come up in an interview and how to effectively answer those questions, to promote myself in the best possible way.
Q: What do you do/get to be involved with on a typical day in the Legal Clinic?
On a typical day I assist with the weekly employment advice clinics by interviewing clients and filling in their enquiry form, covering issues of unfair and wrongful dismissal, constructive dismissal, notice pay, unpaid holiday, wages below statutory pay, grievance procedure and discrimination. Once I gather all the client’s information I contact Allen & Overy solicitors to explain the client’s circumstances and query and discuss possible employment issues and seek legal advice. I then discuss the advice with Katherine King the Employment Solicitor at the Centre who helps me structure the answer I should give to the client. I communicate the advice to the client and answer questions they may have. I also undertake legal research on employment law to gain more knowledge. Sometimes, I am in charge of preparing clients’ bundles for Katherine.
I have a favourite task which is also very challenging: I enjoy analysing the client’s case with the solicitors and coming up with appropriate advice. It is fascinating to see how lawyers think and how they apply the law according to the client’s circumstances.
Q: How does working in a practicing legal clinic compare to being in lectures and seminars?
You are definitely out there – in the big world having to overcome challenges and find solutions to problems. At University I usually learn about the theoretical side of the law – acts, regulations, cases etc. However, working in the Legal Clinic gives me the opportunity to apply my theoretical knowledge into practice. I also provide a service to clients and collaborate with my colleagues. Thus, I develop important skills such as communication, team-working, problem solving skills etc. It feels amazing!
Q: How does it feel to be helping people in the local community?
I have been helping people in the local community for a long time and I could describe the feeling with two words: happiness and satisfaction. Knowing that I am in a position to help others by providing them with free legal guidance, brings me a very positive energy. I hope the people I helped also appreciate my efforts.
Q: How does the work the Coventry Law Centre does impact on Coventry? What was it like working with the Coventry Law Centre?
Coventry Law Centre definitely creates a very positive impact for Coventry people. The fact that the Centre provides a different range of free legal services allows people from low-income backgrounds or people who have gone through some hard times in their life to be supported and welcomed to the society again.
Q: What is like working with Allen and Overy?
Working with Allen & Overy is unbelievable! The chance to be able to collaborate with solicitors from one of the biggest city law firms with such a global reach on the market – ‘WOW’. I think I am lucky to be able to get involved with the Law Centre at the time when they established a ‘pro-bono partnership’ with Allen & Overy. Many students could only dream of having the opportunity to learn from such a firm.