After a 4-week whirlwind at Burley Law, a law firm in Birmingham specialising in commercial, IP law, and employment law, I have completed my internship. However, rather than an ending, I came out with an overwhelming feeling of a new beginning to my legal career. But the journey has not been easy.
As a recent law graduate, textbooks, lectures and 9 am Tesco meal deals are all I have known. While I worked on the side, education gave me a structured routine to rely on. Facing the inevitable cycle of rejection in the exhausting search for work experience felt better when I had my education to rely on. I still had classes and lectures to attend. However, upon the completion of my degree, there is a creeping hint of doom, uncertainty and self-doubt that I see every graduate endure.
In reality, no one has their plans set in stone in their 20s. Funny enough, I didn’t have ‘Intern at an IP law firm in September’ on my bingo card this year. Constantly receiving rejections on applications I spent days working on, attending networking events and law fairs to no avail felt useless at times. But little did I know, I was building resilience, connections and knowledge that would help me refine myself as a young professional. Before I knew it, I was accepting my first interview, attending my first assessment day and accepting my first internship.
Interning at Burley Law has helped me grow such an exclusive perspective on the legal industry and the daily operations of a business. With the intimate office environment, I was able to engage in both administrative and legal work. This is something I now acknowledge is a privilege for a young legal professional.
Throughout the weeks, I had the pleasure of attending client meetings with Des, who focuses on the commercial and IP law side of the business, and then drafting engagement letters and proposals following those meetings. On the administrative side, I learned how to schedule meetings, create new jobs, diarise tasks and keep organised daily. These are just a short list of experiences that will undoubtedly help me grow stronger in my employability. Additionally, the unpredictable and ever-alternating nature of the law firm challenged me to adapt to changes in the office as no 2 days were the same. Interestingly enough, although some moments were intense, having work every day left me feeling accomplished by the end. Above all, having a constant point of contact virtually and in person allowed me to feel supported at all times during my internship. Especially as a newbie in the office, it is very easy to feel incompetent, but I can confidently say that I had constant reassurance!
As my internship in IP Law drew to a close, I had a better understanding of my potential and what I could do to enhance my skills. I now have better direction and a vision of where I see myself fit in the legal profession as a Birmingham-raised young black woman.
Thank you for opening your doors to me!