Find out everything you need to know about Law Society by reading our interview with Lucy!
Please introduce yourself – what year are you in? What degree do you study? Some of your interests? Position in the committee?
I am Lucy Humphreys, soon to graduate final year LLB Law Student.
After having a year out to gain some practical legal experience, I will be undertaking the Bar Professional Training Course. This is with the goal of becoming a barrister, specialising in criminal law. I am a passionate advocate, having started off mock trials at Surrey and this year, the National Mock Trial Competition.
A keen landscape photographer and having managed to get through some GBBO application rounds, I’d like to think an ok baker!
My position in the Law Society Committee has been the President, as well as the Mock Trial Officer.
What does your society stand for? Can you tell us a little bit about what you do?
Our Society primarily stands for professional development. It is no secret that a career in law is cut throat. However, we want to help students overcome this through having the opportunity to take part in competitions, cultivate professional contacts and have assistance in understanding postgraduate life, be it career-wise or course-wise.
One thing we also pride ourselves on is standing for students; each year we provide a mentorship scheme aimed at first year students. They are assigned a second/third year mentor, who can assist them with their degree path. We have also assisted students with academic issues; often liaising with the Law School to help improve the student experience. Each year we aim to adapt to each new cohort. With 200+ incoming students attending every year, we try to cater and adapt to what they want.
The Society offers a variety of professional opportunities; from our Annual Alumni Event in conjunction with the Alumni Department through to careers talks by professionals and postgraduate course providers such as the University of Law and BPP University.
Over the past two years, students have had the chance to see talks by Philip Wood QC, a Nova Scotia Supreme Court Justice and Lord Neuberger. None of this would have happened without the Law School, with whom we work closely alongside.
You will have the chance to participate in Moots, Mock Trials, Client Interviewing and Negotiations competitions.
The Society offers more than can be put into words. This is something for everyone and with upwards of 40 different events, competitions and socials.
How do you join your society?
To join our Society, membership is needed to be purchased through the Students’ Union website. We are not a members-only Society so anyone can come along to events, members or not!
Is there a membership fee to join? If so how much is this?
Student Membership costs £10 for the academic year.
Are there any benefits from purchasing the membership? Society social cards? Etc
Not only does our membership provide discounts to all our socials, including our Annual Law Ball but, it also provides exclusive discounts throughout Guildford. We’ve seen discounts at Komo, through to Surrey Hills.
Anyone who buys membership has the privilege of knowing that they are contributing to the running of the Law Society and its events. Nothing would happen without our students’ involvement with the Society.
Do you hold any social events? If so what are they?
Our social events include bar crawls, either as a Society event or in conjunction with other Societies. This year we saw a Fresher’s bar crawl with Sociology Society.
We also have our Annual Law Ball; the event of the year for law students. It is a black-tie event with some of the top legal professionals, all held in beautiful settings. This year, it was held that the stunning Horsley Towers.
As a new student, it may be a little daunting to attend a social when they do not know anyone. What’s your best advice for first year students?
As cliché as it sounds, get stuck in! Everyone is in the same boat. Go to the Freshers’ Fair and speak to Societies and Clubs. Not only will you get enough pens to last your entire degree, but you will have the chance to sign up to any one of the 150+ Societies and 70+ Sports Clubs Surrey has to offer.
Something I found helped me get involved with Societies and Clubs was to go with course mates or housemates. These will be the first people you meet at university and the ones you are most likely to talk to. Get to know their interests; you may not always have the same interests but, you may discover something new you really enjoy.
Have a look at the Students’ Union website whereby you can see all the Societies and Clubs the university has. Remember, if there isn’t a Society/Club you wanted to join, then start it up!
Does the society organise any trips that are relevant to your degree?
We hold Crown Court Trips usually once a month. We take a dozen students to Guildford Crown Court to give them a real insight into criminal law. Students find it very interesting to see what they’ve learnt in lecture theatres be put into practice.
Committee members often attend some of the main pupillage fairs in London, TargetJobs and the Bar Council fairs. Both allow for students to meet pupils (trainee barristers) and barristers from chambers specialising in all areas of law. Whether students know they want to go to the Bar or are still undecided, these fairs allow for students to gain a direct insight into life as a barrister.
We organise trips to both the UK Supreme Court and Royal Courts of Justice, arguably the most famous courts in England alongside the Old Bailey. Students can often be quite daunted at the thought of going to court, be in Magistrates or the Supreme Court. We feel that offering trips to various courts with the safety of committee members and fellow students, allows for the fear barrier to be overcome. We never want students to be left out from these opportunities, due to nerves!
Can you purchase society clothing?
We don’t do Society clothing, but Committee members get their own hoodies to treasure their time on the Committee! However, who knows what the incoming Committee may plan on doing so keep your eyes peeled.
Could you tell us a little about being on a committee? Highlights and challenges…
I’ve been fortunate enough to have two roles on the Law Society Committee – President and the Mock Trial Officer.
Having the opportunity to run the Society and have a hardworking Committee this year has meant that I’ve been able to see the Law Society go from strength to strength. Having record setting events and founding a national competition doesn’t come without its challenges. It takes an extraordinary amount of time and organisation to ensure the successful running of a society. However, if I could go back and do it again, I would without a shadow of a doubt.
Mock Trials saw 120 students get involved in, nearly 1/5 of the whole Law Student cohort. It’s created an opportunity for students to develop their advocacy skills, understanding of criminal procedure and from a society standpoint, host a fantastic yearly charity event. On occasion, witnesses drop out, so you have to be prepared to take on any role at very short notice! It was a first for the Society and gave me the chance to create the role exactly how I wanted it to be.
What’s your fondest memory as a society member?
Seeing the fruition of National Mock Trial Competition, an annual competition created and organised by myself this year.
It’s been nearly a year in the making and seeing it enjoyed and taken part in by eight universities around the country has been fantastic. With three rounds carried out from Swansea to Lincoln, it’s been a unique opportunity to see students all over compete in my competition.
Three years ago, I had the pleasure of taking part in a mock trials competition in the Old Bailey and on the 10th May I got to see my own competition final in Kingston Crown Court. It’s something I would have never imagined being able to do!
Why do you think people should join your society?
It is a Society that offers everything from relaxed socials to networking events to competitions, which offer students the opportunity to develop a wide variety of skills.
It is not just limited to law students – everyone loves a good social and everyone needs professional skills. We can offer all of this! All the competitions we offer can benefit students; both mooting and mock trials require an unparalleled level of research and preparation skills, negotiations and client interviewing come with needing people skills especially with clients. All these skills will come in handy to everyone at some point in their lives.
On top of that, you get to have discounted tickets to our Annual Law Ball. It cannot be said enough how fantastic the event is. Check our social media channels to see what it’s like!