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Caroline Jackson, a student in the University's School of Law

Getting on the case: how university activities launched my law career

Published: 31 January 2023

From the very start of her undergraduate degree, Caroline had the chance to experience and take part in the legal world.

“I was the first person in my family to go to university. When I began my degree, I lacked confidence in my own abilities," says Caroline. "Southampton offered the support and opportunities that I needed to believe in my goals and actively pursue them.”

She experienced this at the start of the first year of her course, LLB Law. Southampton Law School ran trips to the Inns of Court, London's barristers associations, which she found eye-opening. It was taking part in high-speed mock trials or ‘moots’ in that same year that had the biggest impact on her, however.

At these moots, she had an early chance to argue points in front of an acting judge who would then decide on a winner. Caroline says that participating in activities like these outside her degree helped her to develop her legal skills.

Many opportunities on offer

“I’d advise all students to apply for as many of the university opportunities you are offered as you can, even if you feel underqualified,” she says. “Don’t worry if you have no clue what’s going on at the beginning. I didn’t for the whole of my first year!”

And yet, after this first taste of advocacy at the University, she put herself forward to moot in numerous competitions across the world. “I took part in a world trade law moot in India, a real once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

As Caroline continued to develop her skills in advancing arguments, she went on to become Mooting Society President at the University. “This definitely made me more organised!” she remembers. But it was a later opportunity that started her career in law, she says.

"The University supported me"

“Staff organised a presentation by the Law Commission highlighting an available role, encouraged me to apply, and gave me plenty of support with my application." As a result, she was successful in getting her first role in London, working on legal policy.

Caroline was really looking forward to working in London with "great legal minds" when she shared her story with us in 2020. She has since moved on to become a pupil barrister at 4 Pump Court, a commercial barristers' chambers.

She is thankful to Southampton Law School, especially for the extracurricular opportunities that prepared her to serve in the legal profession.

My experience was that if you are willing to work at university, you’ll get a lot out of it. The advocacy abilities I developed through all the activities have been very helpful.
Caroline Jackson
Former Law degree student
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