Hi Harry, thanks for your time today. Please could you start off by describing where you are in your career at the moment?
I have just graduated from the University of Surrey where I studied for four years. I started off with a degree in Criminology and then obtained legal work experience. From that, I decided to change to law as that was the career I decided I wanted to pursue. In September, I am going to the University of Law in Guildford to study the Legal Practice Course (LPC) with LLM.
What was behind your decision when you decided to create your individual legal platform @harryslawlife?
As I broke my foot about a week before I was due to commence my final year, I had no option but to learn virtually. I had to do absolutely everything from home and was quite anxious with keeping up to date on events such as networking and missing out on opportunities which were essential. Therefore, by starting my own personal blog, it would help me connect with the legal community, make new friends and contacts in the wider industry. This platform has also given me the confidence to share my own experiences and hopefully benefit others who are in a similar position. It took me a while to build up this confidence but wanted to make sure I didn’t come across as pretentious or be someone I’m not. However, the community has been so welcoming and my pages have really blown up since!
So, you started off with your personal blog but what motivated you to start the other legal pages @harryslaw and @legallysupported? I hear there’s a new upcoming project in the works?
My personal blog was just to share my own experiences and give advice to those who wanted to pursue a career in law. From that, having received lots of questions and messages, I saw there was a lack of male legal bloggers and I really wanted to go against that and show it is really important, regardless of the position that you are in, that you can make an impact. Having had the response from my personal blog, I decided to start @harryslaw in April and it has now grown into such an active community. It’s amazing that so many people are willing to get involved and there’s been such a great range of people sharing their stories and voice how they feel.
As each of my channels are different, I can really keep on top of them. @Legallysupported is a platform I’ve been growing and a project I’ve been working on with a handful of people. This page will be dedicated to passionate individuals who want to share their own experiences to help those within the legal community. This really benefits me too as I can work with others and understand more about people in different stages of their career.
When you were starting off establishing these pages, what kind of hurdles did you meet and how did you overcome these challenges?
In all honesty, I was my own worst enemy as confidence is something that I’d always struggled with. It was only in my final year that I took the step. Now, through corona, there has been such a surge of people entering the community and actively sharing their individual stories. This sense of community has really inspired me to continue to do what I’m doing and hopefully inspire others in the process.
Legal blogging on Instagram is very popular. How do you ensure your content is unique?
I think it is all about the individual and what someone is comfortable with sharing. It is important to shed light on the taboos and what people worry about such as rejection or failing to land work experience. This is something that people tend to work about but by building my blog, it has really helped me deal with these problems personally. I’ve really learnt a lot myself and I’d advise people to get stuck in and try it out if they are in doubt!
I think the approach I take on my account Is approachable; with questions I receive, I do draw upon common themes and make posts based on that. I’ve really started to feel more passionate with writing and sharing experiences through everything I’ve learnt. Even if I can act as a mentor to some people who feel inspired by posts, just to be able to answer questions makes me feel great!
How do you balance and juggle these commitments with time management?
I like being organised and fortunately through my platforms I am able to reach out to people who have completed the LPC and have a greater understanding of its structure and demands. I will try my hardest to balance the three platforms but I believe my passion will come through because I am dedicated and will put in the time. For planning, I think it’s something that you have got to be able to handle when it comes.
From your work on Instagram and personal blogging, what kind of opportunities have you received?
As the online legal community is close and connected, there are lots of people who engage with my content and I have grown friendships from my online connections. Through actively posting on LinkedIn, I was approached by the Managing Partner of Kissoon Carr, Robert Hanna and now I am the Head Ambassador for Kissoon Carr. It’s been such a privilege to be involved in something I really believe in! I’m so excited to be hosting my own minisodes of the Legally Speaking Podcast.
Looking back on your time at University, is there anything you would change?
I was heavily focused on my grades and I would advise people to take every opportunity that comes and engage with these opportunities. Since my final year, I have gained so much from the opportunities that have arisen. I would definitely have attended more events and made more time for my applications through research. I would advise really getting involved in university and make the most out of events! But, equally, find your balance and work out what works best for you. Work on yourself outside of university: build your brand, identify your strengths and establish your vision!
And finally, what are your biggest tips for growing your own personal brand?
Everyone starts somewhere and you can build up from that. The community is so welcoming, so engaging, and asking questions. Brainstorm what you want to do, what your aims are and what you hope to achieve through your brand. By making yourself unique and understanding why you stand out and are different will help you excel! Remember to also look back at what you’ve already achieved and what you are working towards as it will all be worth it!
Thank you Harry for your time and great insight! You can keep up to date with Harry’s projects on Instagram @harryslawlife, @harryslaw and @legallysupported as well as on LinkedIn.