PRIME time

The diversity initiative PRIME is two years old this month. This is the experience of one sixth-former who completed a work placement through the scheme.

I decided to get involved with the PRIME work placement scheme because where I live in Barking, not many opportunities are available for students that are serious about a career in law. I heard about the PRIME work placement at Hogan Lovells through my careers advisor at school who encouraged year 12 students to apply.

The application process was competitive and encompassed grades, achievements and a personal statement which is a similar process to UCAS. From the 40 that applied in my year I was one of three that was selected. Law has always been of great interest to me and my PRIME placement has only made my passion stronger and has given me the determination and drive to follow my ambition through as a career.

My PRIME placement at Hogan Lovells has allowed me to improve and practice new skill areas such as team work, negotiating and communicating. One of the top skills I have learnt from my placement is working to deadlines; it improved my punctuality by coping with strict time restrictions, especially as we only had two days to prepare for a presentation.

Another skill I learnt was leadership, and going forward I think my experience working within teams will be invaluable. It is important for the leader to not only direct but listen to other people’s ideas and make compromises.

I also hoped to meet like-minded people, including students and prospective law graduates on my placement, and I have been given the chance to network and build contacts.

I think that one of the highlights of my experience was that I was able to gain a first-hand insight into a solicitor’s career through shadowing and assisting with some of their work. I also had many questions and they were always answered by Hogan Lovells’ staff with great detail. People also gave me advice on a law career, university and more.

Another highlight was the negotiation and presentation tasks, as both improved my team work skills and public speaking, which was a definite confidence boost!

I found my PRIME work experience placement at Hogan Lovells more than rewarding as it allowed me to work in a top law firm, which will sound great on my CV or personal statement. The experience of PRIME also gave me a new perspective on my career aspirations, as before my Hogan Lovells placement I was debating between becoming a barrister or a solicitor.

Due to my work experience I have been able to make a well-thought out decision with the advice I received and now I hope to become a solicitor after I complete a LLB at university. The experience is motivating me to achieve the grades I need so the experience was without doubt valuable and worthwhile.

I think taking part in a PRIME work experience placement at Hogan Lovells has made my career prospects much more achievable. It has definitely persuaded me to go on to higher education as a plan for the future and it has increased my enthusiasm for law. I would highly recommend a PRIME placement to others because it is an experience that will open up endless amount of doors. The placement has been so valuable for me and I would love to do it again.

Nadia Ahmed is 17 years old and has just entered her final year of Barking Abbey Sixth Form in Barking, Essex.