7th November 2019
Writing: Jewook Ryou (Year 13)
Law and Finance: the two things that Britain seems to run on. That, and the love of queues.
The event was set in the prestigious area of Temple, London with the leading Law firm, Jones Day, hosting a panel of distinguished Challoner’s alumni.
We had been able to submit questions beforehand - they lay printed, held within the headmaster’s hand. Mr Atkinson was seated in the middle of the panel, alumni either side of him.
They came from a diverse background; Jonathan Snell was a wealth and asset manager with a degree in finance and accounting, while Luke Johnson was a lawyer at Jones Day - he had studied History at Warwick. As you see, they hailed from far places, and they made a point of it - you don’t have to do Law to be a lawyer.
Mr Atkinson compered the evening, one of the questions that stuck with me, in particular, was one about the use of technology and the legal profession, Chris Barratt asserted that it would not change the profession substantially due to its service-oriented nature - Luke Johnson disagreed; A.I., like most things, would lead to greater efficiency. The exchanges were on the whole, light and welcoming.
Then came the networking section of the evening. In actuality, it too was a surprise, the speakers were very friendly and willing to answer questions. When I ventured to ask about a possible career in criminal law, I was told about pro bono legal work that commercial firms like Jones Day did. The speakers had little pieces of advice that you would not get elsewhere - some gave out business cards that were jealously smuggled away. If you do venture into Law or Finance, however, we were warned that it would be a difficult path, long hours could lead to large salaries, but it did not mean that the work was any easier.