"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." So goes the old Chinese proverb. And, given the commitment, focus and drive I will need to pursue a career in the law, I can fully understand the sentiments behind the saying. The most recent step on my road to success has been at the Society, where I have not long finished a work placement.
The work experience was a direct result of my persistence and Lorna Jack’s helping hand. After reaching the final of the Donald Dewar Memorial Debating Tournament, I thought it would be an opportunity missed if I did not ask about the possibility of a placement with the governing body for Scottish solicitors. After sending in a CV and personal statement, I began almost immediately.
My ambition has always been to study law at university as the LLB is not only a direct route to becoming a solicitor, but also opens up other career opportunities. Armed with a law degree, there are many possibilities – journalism, accountancy and politics, for instance. The Society has allowed me to consider the career options available and also helped me refine my aims. And I now firmly believe becoming a solicitor is the road I would like to take.
From the range of work carried out during my placement, I learned the importance of integrity and transparency to a solicitor and how lawyers are at the centre of the justice system. I now know what a solicitor must do to get a practising certificate – and, more importantly, what must be done to keep it.
My work made me aware of the challenges of protecting access to justice and the massive influence of the Law Reform Department in making and changing the law. I saw, too, how inclusive the profession is and how solicitors engage with the public.
My two weeks at the Society were genuinely positive and the experience is one I will not forget. What began as just another step towards my ultimate goal has, on reflection, ended as a long stride in the right direction.
Thanks to all.Tahleel Lateef, a pupil from Mearns Castle High School, Newton Mearns, was on a two-week work placement at the Society