|8 Mar 2022|
|Business & Finance|
Students considering a career in the law are often urged to sign up for open days, career fairs and City law firm vacation schemes.
But arguably just as helpful is a glut of so-called lawfluencers — trainee and junior lawyers who are sharing their lives, tips and thoughts on YouTube, TikTok and Instagram.
For a taste of the highs and lows of life as a trainee solicitor at an international law firm, join the 119,000 subscribers to Liam Porritt’s YouTube channel.
Porritt is a trainee at Clifford Chance, one the five “magic circle” law firms in the City. The 26-year-old Cambridge graduate offers “productivity tips, career advice and lifestyle hacks” in videos lasting up to 20 minutes.
He posts “day in the life” videos of what he does at work — from reviewing documents to drafting board minutes and approving loan agreements. He explains legal concepts and talks about the skills required, his hours and pay.
“I don’t think that any careers fair, school workshop or even vacation scheme is likely to give you that level of insight,” he says. “I really enjoy feeling like I can have even a small positive impact on others, and it’s pretty amazing to get comments from people around the world saying that a technique or an open discussion about feeling overwhelmed has helped them”.
In shorter, rapid-fire videos lasting less than a minute, Megan Hulme offers guidance and motivation to aspiring lawyers on her Instagram platform @itsallhearsay, which has more than 8,000 followers.
She also posts notes with tips about writing a good CV, researching a firm and performing well at interviews.
Hulme, 26, who is training at Trowers & Hamlins, says that she initially felt “overwhelmed with pressure, knocked down by competitiveness and had a huge fear of failure. So I wanted to create a platform that made sure no one ever felt the way that I did”.
For those looking for a less traditional path, Maia Crockford, 23, raises awareness on social media of the benefits of the apprenticeship route to qualification. She is in her fifth year at DAC Beachcroft, combining work with studying for a law degree and completing the solicitors qualifying examination with BPP University.
Through her My Legal Career accounts on TikTok and Instagram, which have a combined 55,000 followers, Crockford posts videos that aim to bust common myths about legal apprenticeships and provide an insight into her life at work.
Having started her apprenticeship with little idea of what lay ahead, Crockford is seeking to fill an “information gap” and show others what to expect, as well as inspiring them by showing the benefits of apprenticeships and the value of gaining experience in the workplace.
Lawfluencer posts may be glossy and polished, but they do not shy away from dealing with the stresses and strains of the job. In their recent videos, two of the first lawfluencers, Chrissie Wolfe, a former personal injury solicitor at Irwin Mitchell, and Eve Cornwell, who was a junior lawyer at Linklaters, tell viewers why they have quit those jobs and have gone on to other roles.
Wolfe, who has been hosting her YouTube channel Law and Broader since 2017, tells her followers that she got burnt out working long hours. In her new role as a legal profession consultant she continues to provide her upbeat insights.
Four months after completing her training contract at Linklaters and qualifying at the magic circle firm, Cornwell, who has 378,000 followers on YouTube, moved to become a project manager at its in-house technology start-up, CreateiQ.
As they create and extend their own brands through their social media channels, lawfluencers must be careful to ensure that they do not divulge any confidential client information and that they act in accordance with their firm’s social media policies.
Porritt says that he has any posts about Clifford Chance checked by the firm. And Crockford stresses that she is “very conscious of the strict obligations and regulations that legal professionals are under and I am always keeping this in mind”.
Curiously, there does not appear to be anyone providing similar content about life at the Bar, meaning that for now prospective barristers must make do with reruns of This Life, Silk, Kavanagh QC or even Rumpole of the Bailey.
Lucy Cole A future trainee at Clifford Chance who has more than 11,600 followers on Instagram @bylucycole; posts short videos and notes about her experiences.
Maab Saifeldin An LPC student with the Instagram account @lifewithmaab. She describes herself as a “black practising Muslim” and shares thoughts with more than 3,800 followers.
Sophie Shaw An associate at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner who posts fashion and other tips to 11,100 Instagram followers @lawwithsophie.
Emma Lilley Uses Instagram to post advice and resources for aspiring in-house lawyers @inhousepotter, which has more than 9,500 followers.
The Legal Northerner Jordon Goodman posts short amusing videos on student life and helpful study tips to more than 16,500 followers on TikTok and YouTube.
That Corporate Lawyer An anonymous character known only as Henry who posts short videos sending up life in corporate law to his 31,000 followers on TikTok.
City Law Bois This account posts memes and other thoughts about being a lawyer in the Square Mile to 25,700 Instagram followers.
The Neurodiverse Lawyer A podcast and Instagram account set up by Amelia Platton, an autistic law graduate, which shares experiences, advice and information to 17,000 followers to raise awareness and encourage lawyers with disabilities.
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