The University of Portsmouth Law Society are the newest member of the TSL Law Society Scheme. We recently sat down with their President Adam Furze to talk about everything the law society is doing for its members.
Hi Adam, please could you introduce yourself for the readers
My name is Adam Furze and I am the President of the University of Portsmouth Law Society for 2020-2021. I am coming to the end of my first year studying Law and Business LLB and I am an aspiring Royal Navy barrister.
Before coming to University I spent 6 years in the Royal Air Force Air Cadets and I rose to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer and I flew my first solo glider flight at the age of 15. Before I began my legal studies I had a gap year where I worked as an administrator at the British Car Auctions, a chalet host in an Austrian ski resort and I was the Events Coordinator for the British disabled flying charity, Aerobility. I have completed sessions of judicial marshalling at Guildford County Court, Southampton Employment Tribunal and Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court. Earlier this year, I was accepted onto the DLA Piper Insight Scheme and I am due to complete this later this year. Outside of university, I am serving in the British Army Reserves as a Musician in the Army Medical Services Band.
When I arrived at University I became involved with the law society very quickly and I was appointed as the Wellbeing Champion Coordinator for the Law School which resulted in my appointment to the Law Society Committee. I decided to apply to apply to become the President of the Law Society to help students reach their full potential in their professional careers and to provide a support network for prospective junior lawyers, as law degrees are very demanding and the profession which our members wish to join is becoming increasingly competitive and is facing some big upcoming challenges in light of COVID-19.
Could you tell us about the University of Portsmouth law society and what you think sets it apart from other university law societies.
The mission of the University of Portsmouth Law Society is to provide members with all the professional and vocational skills which they are not taught in their degree that they need to become a successful junior lawyer or young professional in 2020. We also provide a fantastic social events calendar so our members can enjoy the social side of university life with other like minded individuals.
By providing the vocational training and development opportunities it allows students who do not necessarily come from a background where their families have gone to university or are lawyers to succeed on the same playing field as those who come from more privileged backgrounds. By providing members with these opportunities, we hope to alleviate any undue pressure or anxiety trying to gain these invaluable skills alone. This ultimately means that our members can become more employable and less stressed at the daunting prospect of trying to make it as a lawyer all by themselves.
What sort of events do you typically put on for your members to help with their careers and studies?
Our planned events for the next year include a talk series with guest speakers ranging from the catastrophic injury barristers, the Head of Reward at BT, Royal Navy barristers, high street and regional managing partners of law firms and members of the judiciary. All of our events provide invaluable networking opportunities. We are developing a workshop and masterclass series on topics such as how to develop your Linkedin profile, interview tips, commercial awareness, client negotiation, mooting and public speaking. Over the next year we will be providing plenty of mooting opportunities as this is such a valuable experience to have whether you intend to be an advocate or not. We are supporting a local charity, Aurora New Dawn, so we will be putting on fundraising events ranging from cake sales to committee members abseiling down the Spinnaker Tower!
How about the social side of things?
We have two RAG and Events Secretary who are putting together a social calendar with something that every member can enjoy such as fancy dress nights out, bowling, film nights, wine and cheese evenings. We also have our annual christmas meal and Law Ball where we put on our finery and have a formal three course meal with a guest speaker and our annual awards.
What would be your top three tips for any aspiring lawyer on how to get the most out of their university experience?
Firstly, don’t panic! Law is hard both to study and in practise but it is perfectly manageable if you work hard, play hard and get support where you need to.
Secondly, join your university law society when you arrive at university. It is never too early to start networking, securing mini-pupillages and work experience. The earlier you start, the more choice you will have. Plus, law societies are a fantastic way to get support if you are struggling.
Thirdly, READ. It sounds really dull of me to say but studying and practising law requires a lot of reading and there is no substitute for it. There is no limit to what you can learn by reading, be that legal subject matter or anything else.
Thank you so much for your time and tips. If any Portsmouth students reading this are interested in joining the Law Society, what should they do?
Come and see us at the Freshers Fayre, we will be there both days. Then come along to our information evening where you can find out more information about the society and to meet the committee. Afterwards, we will be having welcome drinks which will be an opportunity for you to meet other members.
You can also find more information on our website.