Tips for future Women in Law
Updated: Feb 11
Peri Ramadan is a Committee Member for Women in Law Kent, and Family Paralegal. Here she shares her top tips for law students and future Women in Law.
Social media has become an extension of our personal lives, memorialised online for all to see and read. Many HR departments and prospective employers will almost certainly undertake searches for you online whilst considering whether to employ you. Company and staff reputation is a prime consideration for most firms no matter how big or small. So whilst embarking on your freshers week with a jug of Woo Woo or letting off some steam on the Costas on a long awaited holiday with the girls, be sure to recognise that employers have the potential to view your stories and other online logs. Whilst peer pressure can result in many feeling the need to share good times, this could be the difference between an interview and a short email explaining the recruitment process will be proceeding without you. Always ask yourself, "does this reflect well on me"?
Leaving your options open
Many students attend open days assessing what their chosen university has to offer, often with a very fixed view of their chosen pathway. I was very fortunate to discuss applicants’ aspirations and hear their exciting plans for the future. There were many reasons certain law students knew exactly what they wanted to do and how they wanted to get there! It may be that they have an inspirational family member who footsteps they wish to follow. Or an inherent love for an area of law from which they cannot be swayed. Being certain and confident of what you want is a fantastic situation for some. However, the old adage of “be like bamboo, learn to bend before you snap” remained my mantra to myself, which has been a useful piece of advice to others. This applies to dealing with disappointment as well as indecisiveness.
You may not know precisely what you want to do, and whilst exchanging hopes and dreams at induction or upon your return to university after a summer of vacation schemes, or placements with your fellow cohorts, if you still do not know what you want to do, it is not a bad thing.
Your passion may find you when you least expect it or be waiting in your next module selections. Not knowing whether you want to be a barrister or solicitor, legal executive or mediator simply means you refuse to be bound by the limits of your own imagination.
Work - Life Balance
Burn out is a well known issue in the legal sector, it is extremely important to start your legal journey with some good habits already embedded in your lifestyle. I am sure every Woman in Law can agree there will forever be more work to do. Whilst the legal sector attracts many perfectionists, the importance of family life and self care cannot and should not be underplayed. Whether it is swimming first thing in the morning, monthly gatherings with good friends or a cup of tea with your aunt and uncle, do not break good habits and loose yourself in a never ending pile of work. Shout out to Stefanie Smith, a fellow Women in Law Kent Committee Member, and her inspirational running!
This does not undermine good work ethic; your clients, your boss and your nearest & dearest will get the best of you if you are disciplined enough to retain a good work life balance.
According to a recent SRA survey, 52% of lawyers are women, so we must be getting something right! "There has been an increase in the proportion of women in the profession, and although the seniority gap between female partners and solicitors remains significant, it narrowed slightly". We are making progress.
Women in Law Kent's mission statement has always been to foster and encourage empowerment of women in law, and a lot of our socials offer the important opportunity to regularly relax with our peers and avoid burn out.
You can find us online using the handle @womeninlawkent