My First Steps, Emma Lidström, Cooley LLP

The latest post in the My First Steps series comes courtesy of Emma Lidström, a 2016 graduate of Law (LLB) and European Legal Studies who also spent a year abroad at Leiden University in the Netherlands. Emma talks about how she used the services we offer (including Legal Week, which starts today!) and how it helped her on her career path

I really started using Careers & Employability in my last year at university and mainly dealt with the Careers Consultants who work specifically with Law students, Kiren and Helen. They assisted by giving great advice and pep talks, and also looked through my vacation scheme and training contract applications. They also prepared me for interview questions and gave general interview advice. Prior to meeting with Kiren and Helen I had one meeting with a Career Consultant where I had a general chat about job sectors (including but not limited to the legal field) and also showed them my CV and received tips on how to structure it, what to include and how to make it more professional.

Throughout my final year I made sure to take advantage of the services that King’s provides for its student network. I went to the Legal Week sessions organised by them, as well as assessment centre workshops. This, together with the one-on-one sessions with Kiren and Helen in the Careers Centre really made all the difference for me. The last year at university is a stressful time, and I remember trying to perform well in my classes and secure the best grade I could for graduation, while also feeling that time at university was about to end and that scary feeling of being unsure of what would happen next. Few people are successful with their first applications, but it can have an impact on your confidence and it certainly did for me. Not having an exact plan of action or having a job secured for after graduation was an uneasy feeling for me, but with the help from Careers & Employability I felt I had support through all my attempts, including the successes and the failures. This kept me motivated until I secured a job offer, and made all the assessment centres and interviews much less daunting. Talking about why I deserved a job, or about my strengths and why they matched a job description is not something that came naturally for me, but Helen and Kiren knew exactly how to make it come more naturally, and taught me to express myself whilst still being me.

After graduation I felt excited to start my new chapter in my career, and incredibly pleased to have secured Training Contract offers from the two firms I did vacation schemes with in the summer of 2016, the summer after finishing my studies.

I wanted to make sure I had another option if I didn’t secure my Training Contract after my vacation scheme, so before I graduated Kiren also helped me with my application for a Masters (LLM) at LSE. Luckily I was accepted, but decided to pursue the Training Contract and do the LPC (Legal Practice Course) straight after graduating from university. After the LPC I spent a year working different paralegal jobs, including working for a smaller scale law firm who worked mainly with start-ups, along with big names such as Goldman Sachs, and Clyde & Co. I managed to work enough to have the funds to travel a lot and make the most of having time off, and I felt well rested and confident before starting my Training Contract with US Firm Cooley LLP in August 2018.

I would definitely recommend using Careers & Employability at King’s. The Career Consultants are very good at their jobs and have dealt with an vast amount of students with extremely different backgrounds. They listen to your thoughts about your future career path and give individual advice. It is a great service and one of the privileges of going to a top university.