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©2018 BY THE HUMAN CONSULTANCY

"Social mobility and access to the legal profession must start earlier than university. It needs to be at a time when young people are the peak of their development or they will miss the chance to fulfil their potential "

Takeaways from Ed Andrew talking to Lucia Azzi.

In this episode I talk to Luca Azzi, President of Cambridge University Law Society, ambassador for Pembroke College, ambassador for Aspiring Solicitors and soon to be trainee lawyer at prestigious US law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges in London. CULS is the largest student law body in the UK. Lucia convinced her parents in Italy to send her to study in England at the age of sixteen and has been on mission ever since to bring about better access to the legal industry.

 

We talk about her manifesto as President to introduce innovation into a old school university fond of their traditions. How students cope with the short terms and pressures they heap on themselves to strive for excellence, how she wants to include a buddy system in the law faculty.  We discuss her own views of the legal industry and how legal education can be improved to equip students for the working world. How interests outside work shape the person you are and how you can bring that experience with you into work. 

  • On getting elected to CULS, with 75% women on the executive committee

  • Bringing some innovation to the society, students have easier access to the world of law. Launching a forum and incubator for ideas in the law faculty.

  • Building an app listing all of the events and sponsors.

  • Why Cambridge and Oxford University are traditionally poor at innovation and entrepreneurship - how she wants to change the nature of their outlook. 

 

  • How to determine the real successful students by looking at all of their activities, what they do on the side, it forces you to manage your time better.

 

  • CULS are trying to get students to be more carer minded from day one.

 

  • How getting a training contract in your first year is not always the best solution to finding the right career for students.

 

  • Cambridge has short terms and it is very intense and high pressured, most of pressure comes from within, most are very high achievers, as stakes are very high and huge privilege and honour to be here.

 

  • Developing a buddy system for CULS member to develop relationships and networks and help protect form metal health issues. 

 

  • Why she chose Weil over a UK firm. 

 

  • Some of her colleagues are already planning about partnership and motherhood career breaks, but most are only thinking about training contracts.

 

  • Training as a lawyer opens up so many opportunities in and outside law.

 

  • Degrees at Cambridge are still very theoretical unlike STEM students and law degrees need to be more practical and business facing. 

 

  • How apprenticeship are excellent ideas as law can be seen as inaccessible.

  • Creativity tends to be suppressed during law degrees and it is important to maintain creativity. School leavers are sometimes better placed to carry that forwards where law students can lose it.

 

  • Contextual recruitment - where universities could open up to students whose backgrounds have made it much harder to get to university

  • Aspiring Solicitors - helping people get through the process of becoming lawyers for those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

  • She is on the university ski team, and enjoys an all female singing group and musical theatre and acting.

 

  • A firm believer in not shutting down the personal passions and interests when you become a lawyer, keep them alive as - there is so much creativity in big law, clients want creative solutions and if you don’t foster that as a firm then employees will not not be able to give that to clients. 

 

  • 51:30 to 53:20 answering the question from Isaac Eloi about social mobility and the SQE. 

  • So much unhappiness in law firms, firms need to look at the root causes of that, lawyers will not be producing the outstanding quality of work they usually produce when they are disengaged. 

To contact Lucia please email her at president@culs.org.uk or click on the links below.

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