Karandeep Mainn (Studied September 2011 - June 2018)

Subjects Taken: A Level Law, A Level Psychology, A Level Business
Currently studying a Legal Practice Course at BPP University

What have you achieved since leaving SWB?

Since leaving SWB in 2018, I successfully completed and graduated from a 3-year LLB Law degree at the University of Warwick.
In my first year of university, I secured 6 internships at top global commercial law firms and gained a place on 2 competitive law programmes (Sutton Trust Pathways to Law Plus and Rare Recruitment’s Articles Programme) which provided a variety of ‘tools’ to access the legal profession. I was also a founding member (in the role of a Marketing Officer) of a new charitable society at Warwick which collaborated with leading global law, banking, and consultancy firms to enhance awareness and widen accessibility to such professions.
I have also worked short-term roles for J.P. Morgan and Samsung. At the end of my second-year at university, following a 2-week vacation scheme, I received a Training Contract offer to become a Corporate Lawyer at one of the world’s best corporate law firms. Since accepting my offer, I am currently studying the Legal Practice Course at BPP University and will subsequently begin as a Trainee Solicitor at the firm in August 2022, in the city of London.  

What advice would you give to students currently studying at SWB who are thinking of entering your career?

From the outset, it is very important to take the initiative to conduct your own research about a career in commercial law. There are many websites such as Chambers Student, Bright Network, and The Corporate Law Academy to name a few, which are a great starting point in learning about the fundamentals of corporate law and offer a plethora of information related to applications, interviews, and deadlines. I also highly recommend applying to legal programmes from organisations such as The Sutton Trust, Rare Recruitment and SEO London, which assist with applications, interviews, offer insight days, work experience opportunities, and develop your commercial competencies.
These organisations, and also some commercial law firms, also offer opportunities for those in Year 10-13. Furthermore, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many commercial law firms now offer virtual internships, virtual insight days and virtual skills sessions and other industry-focussed events which can all be found on the careers section of the respective law firm. Additionally, at an earlier stage, it is helpful to subscribe to communications from Finimize, the Financial Times and listen to finance-related podcasts as this will greatly develop your commercial awareness skills for future assessment centres and interviews.

Secondly, create a LinkedIn account and connect with commercial law firms and individuals who share your professional interests. Reach out to people who are in established positions or those in a position that you aspire to be in, and ask them about their experiences, insights, and any advice they may have. If attending university, sign up to the law society at your university and attend their events as they will often be aimed at increasing your awareness of the opportunities within that field. Commercial law firms typically participate in a milkround period at the beginning of the academic year which involves them hosting events at selected universities and running insight days at their own offices. In that vein, make applications for insight schemes, vacation schemes, and direct training contracts (exactly what you apply to will depend on your eligibility which is often related to your year of study). Oftenly, some insight schemes and all vacation schemes enable you with the opportunity of being offered a training contract. Good grades at GCSE, A Level, and University are often prerequisites to a career in commercial law and not enough on its own to land you a training contract in a highly competitive and saturated legal market. It is therefore important to participate in some form of extra-curricular activities. This could include taking up a position on a committee or sub-committee of a society as this is a great way to develop your leadership, teamwork, and time management skills. Alternatively, you could even set up your own society at university!
You could also undertake a volunteering position at a charity, or further pursue your own hobbies and interests which are likely to differentiate you into a competitive candidate.

What are your career plans for the future?

Once I have finished my Legal Practice Course in June 2022, I will begin my two-year training contract at a top international corporate law firm in London. During this period, I will be rotating between four departments which involves a mandatory seat in Finance and also a guaranteed international secondment to one of the firm’s 45 global offices. Upon successful completion of the training contract, I will hopefully qualify as a Solicitor specialising in one particular department that I would have completed over the course of my training contract.

What is your best memory of SWB?

My best memory at SWB is most certainly being part of the winning team in the 2017 West Midlands Law Mooting Competition, which consisted of two rounds and 12 schools in attendance. This opportunity allowed me to greatly develop my leadership, teamwork, interpersonal, and communication skills. It also enabled me to assimilate court etiquette and practise legal advocacy which was invaluable in translating my theoretical understanding of the law into a practical context.