22 December 2023

Empowering tomorrow's legal minds


Setting the scene- a local connection

I wish to share with you the incredible experience I have recently had hosting work experience for two students from Peebles High School at RTA Law LLP. It highlights the magic that happens when you open the doors of a law firm to eager young minds. As a personal injury law firm based in Peebles, I was keen to offer local students from Peebles High School the opportunity to gain an insight into what it is like to work in a law firm before applying to university. I reached out to Peebles High School and offered two afternoons of work experience to students wishing to apply to study law.

Why early exposure matters.

I feel it’s important to provide experience to students who are considering careers in law. Law is not a subject you can study at school and therefore, you can often find yourself navigating unchartered waters when you finally reach university. Work experience really is a game-changer as having relevant legal experience sets you apart from other candidates when applying to university as applications are very competitive. Practical experience is also a fantastic way to ignite passion and purpose to any student beginning their career path.

A personal mission

It was at Peebles High School where I first set my sights on a legal career. I was then accepted at Edinburgh Napier University to study law and in my second year of studying, I approached RTA Law LLP looking for work experience. I was delighted to be offered practical work experience at the firm. I completed a two-week placement and following this I was then offered a position working one day a week whilst continuing to study. I had never been inside a law firm before, and it was practical experience of court visits that sparked my fascination in personal injury law. I thoroughly enjoyed gaining knowledge in an area of law I knew nothing about. I feel very fortunate for the opportunity that I was given, and it was due to this that I felt passionate about extending the same opportunity to students who were at the crossroads of their academic journeys. Offering students practical legal experience whilst still at school is a truly fantastic opportunity that really places them a step ahead before they start their university degree.

Meet Isla and Ruairidh

Isla and Ruairidh joined RTA Law LLP for two afternoons of work experience. They are both in their final year of studying at Peebles High School and are interested in studying law at university. Neither had any prior experience and were thrilled to be offered this opportunity. They were both eager to gain experience so early on in their future careers which I found truly inspiring. Early next year, they will both be applying to university and the practical experience they have gained with us can be included within their personal statements which will really set them apart from other students applying for the same course.

Crafting their legal adventure

We delved into the practical side of personal injury law by dividing up the two afternoons. We firstly looked at liability in road traffic incidents with reference to the Highway Code and we then looked at the complexities of valuing cases by reviewing medical reports with reference to the Guidelines for awards for injuries. It was a crash course in what it is like to be a personal injury solicitor.

Fuelling their university aspirations

As Isla and Ruairidh gear up for their university applications, the experience they have gained at RTA LAW LLP will be invaluable in their personal statements. They acquired hands-on knowledge which will set them apart from other applicants which they can really showcase within their personal statements. They were both delighted to be offered this opportunity and would strongly encourage other students to consider a similar experience.

Cheers to the future

Hosting Isla and Ruairidh was an absolute delight, and I can't wait to see where their passion for law takes them. RTA Law LLP, with its commitment to supporting and empowering the next generation of legal professionals, wishes them all the very best on their journey. Here's to the future lawyers of Peebles, forging ahead with determination and a first-hand taste of the legal world. I wish Isla and Ruairidh all the very best with their applications to university and their onward university journeys.
In closing, this experience has been a reminder of the importance of mentorship and early exposure. If you’re in a position to open doors for aspiring minds, take the plunge. You never know – you might just be lighting the spark that sets someone on a path to greatness.

Zara Jones


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