LLB (Hons) Law, work placement success storiesHow two Law students have benefitted from work placements at Southwark Council
Munawwarah Abrahams and Olga Astanina are classmates on our LLB (Hons) Law degree, and were both given the opportunity of undertaking a work placement with Southwark Council as part of their studies. The pair were the two highest scoring applicants to apply to the council, securing their places, and both found that the opportunity to put their learning into practice has added value to their studies – and their CVs.
How legal services operate
The two started their placements with differing expectations and understandings of what to expect. Munawwarah admits that she didn't know what to expect, as it was her first work placement, while Olga had a clear focus on understanding how legal services operate in practice and how the public sector works on a day-to-day basis.
Munawwarah had been able to spend an away day with DMH Stallard, a private sector law firm, and noticed that there was an obvious difference between private and public practice, with public sector work appearing to be more relaxed and less stressful. She spent most of her time working in planning enquiries, as well as doing some research and drafting Enforcement Notices. "It helped me to gain a valuable insight into the workings of public practice, and is great experience to have on my CV," she says. "I now have a clearer vision of what I would like to do in the future. It was a real privilege to have great mentors while on the placement, and I gained practical skills including drafting and researching to a high standard."
Olga, meanwhile, worked in the Contract department during her placement. "It was a really useful experience," she recalls." I was able to attend some negotiation meetings, and accompanied the Property department to a property auction. I made a real effort to listen, learn and absorb everything that was happening around me."
Different aspects of law
"My work experience did just what I hoped it would: it helped me to understand how the public sector functions and, more importantly, how it influences and regulates society in Southwark," says Olga. "Having the chance to work in the legal department gave me the chance to mix with a variety of different people dealing with different aspects of law, which was another very useful experience that I am grateful to have gone through."
Successful work placement
Both students agree that their successful work placements have helped to prepare them for their legal careers, and they return to their studies with an invaluable framework of real life experiences that help to put their learning into context. They are quick to thank Southwark Council for the role it played in making their work placement so enjoyable. "Every employee was friendly, helpful, and willing to answer any questions that we had," they say of the experience. "It was wonderful to be part of the Council Law Department, where everyone works together as a team to try and make Southwark a great place to live, work or visit."