Work experience with Withers World Wide
written by Celine (Year 13)
Four students participated in a one-week work experience with the international corporate firm Withers World Wide.
During the week we were each assigned a trainee buddy who aided us in understanding a specific area of law.
The departments within law varied from private clients to family law and disputes. We were each given a research task which encouraged us all to investigate a specific element that is often dealt with by the trainees at the firm.
I was asked to offer research support to an ongoing case regarding family law. This included looking at the factors the court took into consideration in order to disassemble the financial assets of both parties. This involved a diligent observation of the needs of the parties to be considered first and then came the division of the matrimonial assets.
In the finalising stage, a non-disclosure form needed to be submitted outlining each of the parties financial assets and any financial or capital sum they may progress onto earning in the near future e.g. through cryptocurrency or a foreseeable promotion. What intrigued me was the case of White v White as it articulated a point of law that I have not yet encountered whilst studying A level law; the idea of ‘fairness’ and how it interferes with the ‘reasonable requirements’ of one’s needs.
This introduced to me that although the law may paint itself as contradictory, when the case is looked at subjectively in accordance to what each party lacks or is in absence of following a divorce, it shows how the law is in fact more determined than it seems in reaching a just conclusion. This means that at times this may lead to an unequivocal balance of assets on the surface, however when looked at in further depth, the complications of a case ensures that each party meets a financially stable resolution which can effectively cement the ‘clean break’ in their relationship.
Further complications in regards to the financial remedies of a divorce include the sharing of pensions as well as a spouse’s periodical payments, which may be made to the other party in order for both to be sustained economically. By observing a current client’s non-disclosure form, I gained a thorough understanding on how assets can be calculated as well as the demand for intricate scrutiny in this field of law when examining bank statements and estimating the worth of one party’s lifestyle in comparison to the other.
From this research, I learned the ways in which lifestyles differ dramatically after a divorce and the ways in which courts attempt to amend this difference as much as possible, to resemble a life as close to the financial circumstances of a party before the divorce took its toll.
Alongside this, we were split into two groups and worked on a presentation to create a new legal tech invention that could prove itself profitable to the firm and the industry of law in general.
My group invented ‘SCB Safe Space’, which is a data processor that scans documents and can easily manipulate them to fit any desired format such as letters, notices, and memos. It serves the purpose of replacing the folders and the physical paper trail that is carried into court to alleviate the environmental burdens in the long run as well as create an efficient method designed to ensure information is accessible to the right people as well as abroad.
By creating a unique account name and heightening security measures in accordance to the PSTIB bill, we tackled one of the biggest concerns in the world of tech, which is confidentiality and privacy.
We incorporated the broadening of diversity through the removal of a language barrier (due to the input of a translator system) and calculated the profitable margins that can be made through a joint partnership with Withers, the algorithm of ‘machine learning’, the manufacturing process and how this will increase the firms current statistics of revenue. We then presented this to associates of the firm and discussed possible trouble shooting errors that could occur and ways which diversity can be aimed at achieving.
This allowed us all to build confidence and exercise teamwork and leadership skills, which are essential skills in every work place environment. Our ability to answer to criticisms and consider feedback demonstrated the skill of adaptability and organisation as we collectively showed that we were prepared to help further communicate the thoughts behind our product.
There were several networking opportunities where we discussed the different roles within the legal field. By interviewing a legal librarian, a technician, a trainee and those who did a solicitor apprenticeship vs those who took the traditional route of university, each us of gained a valuable insight of the world of law.
From the legal librarian we learned the importance of history in law and the route of searching for an answer by tracing its legal footprints through time scrawled on documents and deciphering the piles of paper written by hand (pre 1800s).
The technician taught us the importance of a digitally evolving era and how it has introduced further complications as well as ease, such as the retrieval of lost documents.
Apprenticeship solicitors discussed the importance of practical legal knowledge and how it is vastly incomparable to simply studying law and the balance between studying and university.
Trainees who have completed a university degree emphasised the importance of understanding the grounds of law and the freedom in exploring further aspects, in order to expand the search for which area of law can particularly appeal to you.
In addition to this, we had a session with a psychologist who stressed the importance of first impressions and the way to communicate effectively within a workplace so that your contributions are heard.
Overall, this was a great experience as it exposed us to the reality of law, teaching us about its evolving pace with technology and the complexities that arise from the corporate lens of law.
Visit their website here: https://www.withersworldwide.com/en-gb