Georgia Mahoney: From working at a golf club to the LPC and a training contract
My name is Georgia Mahoney. I am a First Class LLB (hons) Law graduate and current I-LLM LPC student at the University of Law. I have recently commenced my Training Contract and this article is going to take you through my journey in securing a legal career. This article is a collaboration with connected through law. CTL is a platform which was created by Ben which connects and inspires aspiring solicitors. Ben is a first year History and Political Science student at Birmingham University and I think his initiative for this platform is great. It will definitely stand him in great stead in the career path he chooses. I was contacted by Ben a few days ago asking if I would share my journey in law and I thought this would be a great opportunity to show all students that not everyone has the same journey and mine certainly wasn’t what I had in mind I will insert my LinkedIn profile link and you can look at it if you wish. https://www.linkedin.com/in/georgia-mahoney-4a7053134/
I’ve always been very regimented in my routine so I decided I would go to an all-girls sixth form. I didn’t do as well as I wanted to in my a-levels. I could tell you all of the things I considered put me at a disadvantage during my a-levels but instead I’m going to focus on how I have managed to pick myself up at every hurdle I have endured. I applied for five universities, submitted my personal statements and honestly didn’t think about university for the whole of summer from when I finished my a-levels. I think it is important here to note that you have the right to apply to whichever university and whichever course you want. It’s your life and it’s going to be hard so don’t let people dictate your future.
On results day I was relieved that Greenwich accepted me but I was not prepared at all. I did not know what was ahead of me. I just went along to lectures and tried to understand and didn’t so I would just buy revision guides and re-write them. It got to April 2017 and I thought I should just quit before I incurred more debt however, I sat my exams and I decided I would take up a family friend’s offer of an internship at a law firm. I passed all my exams, started to be more positive and thought wow perhaps I do understand the law. During summer 2017 I started to become fixated with wanting to become a solicitor. I really prepared for my second year. I got a new laptop, bought stationary, books, and statutes. I must note here - you don’t need to have expensive stuff to get a decent degree but Greenwich gave students a John smith card to purchase books so I used that as well as money earns from my internship. I started to submerse myself in law. I gained a curiosity for it and found myself constantly criticising it and wanting to find out more. I also really cared about my degree during my second year which I think is so key if you want to get a first class degree. I commuted to Greenwich daily so I didn’t really have the student life as some of you may be having so I treated it as a job. I would leave home at 6 and get to Greenwich for 7.15, sit in McDonald’s and catch up on work. I am early for everything and hate being late. I am also considerably more productive in the mornings and I’ve carried this trait in my training contract I’m in currently. In second year I also completed an internship placement in a family law practice and I thought I found my calling. I then went into my third year of the LLB and actually got to practice law weekly. I became a student supporter in the east London family court and I was helping deliver justice to litigants in person. By me practicing this really helped me with my essays in family and placement elective to achieve 80+ marks in my pieces of coursework.
I graduated with a first class degree with honours in law and I was over the moon BUT I did not have a training contract. During my third year I was constantly applying for jobs and going to London handing my cvs out but had no luck. I was lucky to secure a mini pupillage at the Attorney General’s Chambers through a family connection. I was shadowing some of the top barristers in the country and they really inspired me to keep pursuing a career in law. Then, in June I applied for an internship at a Corporate Bank and started working there. I did apply for some roles there but wasn’t successful but I learnt a lot about corporate life and how sterile it was compared to my family law internship the previous year. I ended up working two jobs, one at the Corporate Bank and then evenings and weekends at a golf club. It was hard work and unnecessary. I punished myself for being behind compared to my friends who had legal roles. I need to mention here that I believed my role at the Bank was going to be in house legal but it was mainly administrative which was fine as the money was good and I met some really clever people and made good connections. Other roles I applied for were mainly journalistic and support roles. I didn’t aim particularly to be a lawyer, I just wanted a legal role. Employers like diversity and despite my role at the Bank not being purely legal I demonstrated a multitude of skills and I learnt a lot about World Markets and the Exchange. I was so stuck with what to do next in my legal career that I applied for the LLM LPC thinking I was going to be unemployed forever and needed more qualifications. Can I just mention that perhaps you should really consider before committing to the LLM LPC because you only get a certain amount of funding and you should think about how you are going to find the shortfall. A positive about the provider I am studying with (University of Law) is that the deadline was so close to the starting date so you have plenty of time to consider your options post graduate. After my internship finished I started the LLM LPC. I must mention that employers of the roles I applied for -and was not successful for- told me to get a masters degree as well. Perhaps if I had a GDL instead of straight LLB I would’ve been in a different position as I would be classed as more experienced/ have a wider range of knowledge. I don’t regret my decision to do the law degree because I wouldn’t be where I am. I believe that you will get to where you want to be with hard work. I am currently in my seventh month of the LLM LPC which I chose to study part time and online. The course is 2 years long so I will graduate in 2021. I start the masters part towards the end of this year. The LPC course itself if hard and should not be undermined. It’s very practical. Also, I haven’t fully decided what I will write about for my masters but I can guarantee you it will focus on family law as I am very passionate about how the law is reforming and also how it does not provide justice to all. You need to write about something you like. I am currently in the commercial dept. at work and the topics are niche in my opinion so I don’t think I could expand on much. As to how I got in my current job role? I was serving a member of the golf club behind the bar and he asked me about my education. Once he found out I had a law degree he referred me to one of his friends- my boss now- and I was offered an internship in January and then a training contract at the end of January. I was very lucky and I feel very grateful that I was given the opportunity to prove my capability. The people I work with are great as well. Remember that you should take every opportunity even if you think it will be a permanent role. My CV is filled with internships and other work placements from the age of 13 until now- aged 21. A suggestion from me to you is that if you are aiming for a TC or any legal role then definitely apply for a vacation scheme there first because you need to know whether you fit in. When I was in my role at the Bank I felt like I would never be able to fit in because the travel did not suit me and I was doing something I did not study for. I just think if you are going to pay back your tuition fees then work somewhere you like Thank you for taking time to read this article. Just remember to keep looking ahead at your end goal and celebrate small achievements always because they are what lead you to the end result
Instagram - @legallygeorge