Exposure to the World of Law: Through the lens of a 1st Year
October 12, 2022 will go down as one of my most eye-opening and insightful career sessions yet. Being only in my fourth week of Law School, my peers and I were ecstatic to be given the opportunity to attend a virtual coffee session with a Litigation Lawyer which is a field involved in court proceedings, going to court, and arguing for your client’s case.
So far, I was only ever familiar with fields such as Medical, International, and Family Law. However, this was the first time I was being exposed to a new domain in the ever-expanding world of law. This session was hosted by Dr Daphne Demetriou, Campus Programme Coordinator for Post Graduate Law and Politics, our Public Law Lecturer and Module Coordinator. The guest speaker attending was Mr Peter Smith, Litigation Lawyer for Charles Russell and Speechlys LLP- an international law firm with its head office in London and with a branch in Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC). Mr Smith currently works in the DIFC branch of the firm.
Mr Smith talked at length about his journey into the field of law. He had us hooked from the get-go when he mentioned how most of his time as a lawyer had been spent working in the UAE. He elaborated on the mechanisms to become a practicing lawyer. Additionally, he guided us in answering one of the most asked queries amongst most of us First Years, “What is the difference between a Solicitor and a Barrister? Which to opt for?”
Mr Smith touched upon Arbitration and its elements in great detail and went on to explain the concept in simple terms – as a means of achieving a solution to the problem in private. As first-years, gaining insight into something so intriguing and unique such as Arbitration was certainly enjoyable. I am sure that a lot of us wanted to become Arbitration Lawyers by the end of the session – most notably because of the work-life balance he enjoys.
Mr Smith ended the session with a brief overview of what his day typically looks like at work. He went over his days when he has cases in the DIFC courts and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) courts, which was very informative.
I can confidently say that this session encapsulated everything a first year could ever have asked for with regards to gaining a perspective into a significantly unique area of law such as litigation & arbitration, especially in the distinctive arena of the DIFC and ADGM Common Law jurisdiction of the UAE. The result of this session allowed us to note down tips and strategies given by Mr Smith on getting a head start for the world of law coupled with his experiences.
“Law is experiences developed by and applied continually to further experience.” – Roscoe Pound