We have had some amazing success stories over the years BVL has been running. On this page we will post stories about students and volunteers so you can learn little more about how BVL has had an effect on the people involved.
Ahmet currently attends Sutton Grammar School and is studying Mathematics, Economics, Turkish and Physics at A-Level. He hopes to study Law at a reputable university and to enter the legal profession in the future. Ahmet plans to immerse himself in extra-curricular and pro bono activities like Big Voice London during these coming years to help him decide on his chosen area of expertise and to help diversify the profession.
Question: What inspired you to apply to one of Big Voice London’s Projects?
Answer: Whilst searching for opportunities to better my understanding of law, I saw a poster for Big Voice London on my school’s law society notice board. This was exactly what I needed. Finding legal work experience at this age is extremely difficult, so finding a legal charity that exists to help young people get into the legal profession was perfect. I applied because I wanted to further my knowledge of law, and to see what it would truly be like to be a legal professional. I also wanted to learn the different routes into the legal profession from people who have experienced it first-hand.
Q: What impact has Big Voice London had on you and your career intentions?
A: Attending Big Voice London’s projects had a profound impact on me and my career choices. Attending those projects gave me confidence to not only deliver arguments in a persuasive and effective way but also improved my ability to research, communicate and prioritise. The new skills and knowledge gained from joining those projects is one of the main reasons why I want to pursue a career in the law.
Q: What was your highlight of participating in Big Voice London?
A: The highlight of participating with Big Voice London has to be when I won the mooting competition at the Supreme Court. After around six weeks of hard work where each week I had to research past cases to establish precedents, practice my advocacy skills, and learn about specific areas of the law, with the help of my mentor, it paid off in the end.
Not only did I see and have a tour of the Supreme Court but to be judged by Lord Kerr in the finals was incredible; to actually win the competition was a remarkable feeling to find out the all my hard work was worth it. Especially when Lord Kerr gave me very valuable feedback and told me how my presentation and delivery of the argument was better than some barristers!
Q: Why do you think young people should get involved in our projects?
A: I think all young people should get involved with Big Voice London’s projects, not only those with an interest in the law. Every project has an element of presenting and group work where individuals can work on a number of skills such as public speaking, teamwork, research and creative skills, all of which are key life skills that everyone should strive to improve.
Those who do have an interest in the law will greatly benefit from these projects since participants work with law students, solicitors and barristers alike, who can help and give information that would be otherwise difficult to find or understand. But most importantly, participants learn about the law, which, at 16 and 18 years old can sometimes seem challenging. Big Voice London’s projects help young people to understand their rights and the changing law, which will be beneficial to all, no matter what route they go down.
Since completing her A-Levels, Esme has decided to take a year out to widen her knowledge of the legal profession and to develop her foreign language skills. During her gap year, she is working at Clifford Chance and hopes that between this and volunteering with Big Voice London, she will obtain a broader understanding of the law for when she proceeds to study law at university in September 2018.
Question: What inspired you to apply to one of Big Voice London's Projects?
Answer: For many, seeking work experience opportunities within the legal field can be challenging and often unrewarding. During secondary school, I spent copious amounts of time searching for schemes, programmes, shadowing opportunities and more. After a while, the process became tedious. The lack of legal work experience opportunities made it difficult for me to stay motivated. I was therefore delighted to discover Big Voice London, a charity which provides a genuine insight into a profession seemingly so inaccessible to the many; this emphasis on opening the gateway for diversity is what really drew me towards their projects. Further, the level of expertise provided by a team consisting of undergraduates, graduates and qualified lawyers is an invaluable resource that I am hugely appreciative of.
Q: Do you feel you've benefitted personally from attending one of Big Voice
A: My parents have always told me that I would get more confident every time I push myself out of my comfort zone. Big Voice London has helped me realise this. I came there not knowing anyone and being terrified of the prospect of public speaking but, I came out of there wanting to do it all again, feeling like a new person. Unlike getting a good score in an exam or winning an award for good attendance, my achievements at Big Voice London helped me realise that I have got what it takes to shape my own future and to define myself not as the 'shy girl' but as a confident person.
Q: Has participating in one of Big Voice London's projects helped you to prepare for your future career?
A: Certainly! Big Voice London made it possible to immerse myself in an environment where I could work with others who, like me, have a passion for the law. Whilst attending the Big Voice London 'Employment Law Summer School', I was able to experience what it would be like to be a lawyer. From working through legislation to presenting arguments in front of barristers, Big Voice London has given me experience and insight into what is required for such a demanding and exciting profession. From being able to obtain feedback from reputable barristers to learning more about legal study from current undergraduates, I have been able to learn so much. Big Voice London has undoubtedly allowed me to be confident and well informed in my approach to becoming a lawyer.
Q: What advice would you give to other young people?
A: That you have what it takes! Beginning your journey towards any career path can be a daunting experience. Big Voice London has opened my eyes to the potential that I have and allowed me to see how I can utilise my passion for law and turn it into something great. I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to know that you have what it takes. Sometimes all that is needed is for you to step out of your comfort zone to truly see that, if you put your mind to it, you really can achieve anything.