I would like to extend a massive thanks to Christianah Babajide for being the first person to sign up for the Law Student vs Series! I hope aspiring (and current) law students are able to see the value and commitment in Christianah’s approach to law school and her career.
If you would like to ask Christianah any further questions then feel free to get in touch through her LinkedIn profile.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
My name is Christianah Babajide, I am studying my LLB degree in the City.
Born and bred in London, I live in Essex with my medium-sized family consisting of my Nigerian-born parents and two elder siblings. I don’t own any pets, unfortunately (my mum isn’t keen!), however I am dedicated to getting myself a puppy once I get my own place. English is my first language but I also speak my mother tongue which is Yoruba.
Outside law, I enjoy watching crime documentaries, reading non-fiction novels and playing piano in my spare time.
What made you decide to study law?
Law is one of the world’s traditional reputable professions and the subject has always fascinated me. I was intrigued by developments in the law and the way that it adapted to our organic society.
As a determined and studious individual, I felt I would be suited to a law degree as I am at my best when challenged, relish the opportunity of lateral thinking and how the English Legal System operates in our democratic society.
Upon studying Law, I have been equipped with a variety of skills such as critical analysis, research, a wider vocabulary, synthesis of complex ideas and developed meticulous attention to detail. These skills are highly transferable to a number of other industries and sectors, commercial or otherwise.
Are you happy with your decision to study law?What has been the most enjoyable part so far?
There doesn’t come a day where I regret my decision to study law, maybe right now when I’m studying for exams and realise just how much case law there is to be memorised for Land Law, but this feeling is fleeting. I think a law degree is perfect for those who want a career in the legal field and perfect for those who don’t want to practice law; the degree is versatile to any career path.
The most enjoyable part of my law degree hasn’t been academic I’m afraid but more so during mini-pupillages, internships and work experience at the Old Bailey and silver circle firms. I much enjoy meeting legal professionals in different fields, watching their advocate styles in action and witnessing first-hand how the law unravels in the courtroom or being present during a M&A transaction is very exciting!
In addition, I have enjoyed my student life experience at university; I have had the chance to get involved in extracurricular activities, run for positions on the executive committee of the law society, attend career events at magic-circle firms and contribute content to online legal publications. Being able to attend the (LawCareers.Net) National Student Law Awards was quite exciting – I had the chance to network with other law students from around the world.
These experiences have not only provided me with invaluable skills beyond my academic degree but it has also offered me the opportunity to network with legal professionals and gain valuable contacts that I am sure will be useful soon.
We all hate something about law school! What don’t you like about it?
I don’t particularly hate anything about law school but if I had to pick it would be how expensive law books actually are. A law degree is a very expensive investment with the average law book costing about £40!
What else have you been doing during university?
University offers a wealth of opportunities ranging from volunteering, part-time work, internships, work experience, paid student work.
I have been lucky to have taken part in some of these opportunities such as volunteering at the Personal Support Unit; offering emotional and practical support to litigants-in-person. I have worked as a Senior Student Ambassador via Unitemps, which gives me the chance to represent my university and exposed me to a plethora of jobs and experienced professionals. on and off campus. I have also undertaken a few clerkships at firms and barrister’s chambers which have revealed the practical side of law and has fuelled my determination to excel in my academics.
Additionally, I was also on the City University of London Law Society Committee as a First-Year Representative, Secretary and Communications Officer – truly fulfilling roles!
Where do you want to work when you graduate?
I am weary of name-dropping law firms and barrister’s chambers because I am still unsure whether I want to pursue the route of a solicitor or a barrister. I am also unsure which area of law I wish to practice in however upon undertaking clerkships in different areas of law, I have come to find Commercial Law, Criminal Law, Medical Negligence, Civil Rights and Family Law interesting.
Ideally, as an ambitious individual, I would like to work for a well-reputable firm/chambers in a diverse workplace that is intellectually stimulating, has good values, encourages creativity and gives me the opportunity to climb up the career ladder.
If you had one piece of advice for other students, what would that be?
My advice for other students would be to put yourself out there, speak to your tutors, your lecturers, utilise your university’s career service and most importantly your peers. Step outside your comfort zone by getting involved in extracurricular activities, running for a position on an executive committee and doing some volunteering.
A lot of students at the university are shy to get involved but soon realise these activities are quite rewarding. For example, you get the chance to meet different calibre of people and make some friends.
My second piece of advice is there is also a lot of reading to be done in a law degree so try to keep on top of it. But most importantly, don’t forget to have fun and make some memories – you only attend university once so make the most of it.
Any final words?
A lot of BAME students are deterred with the genetic makeup of the legal profession and the elitist structures. Don’t be put off if you don’t see anyone that looks like you or represents you, instead think of how you can make yourself stand out in such a competitive field.
Besides, if the legal sector appears to lack diversity, it’s more reason for you to go into the field and break through the glass ceiling.
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