Sophie Cook – A Week With Wikitribune
Between the 2nd and 6th of July, I had the amazing opportunity to work with the company Wikitribune on the 22nd floor of the Shard as part of my work experience. My time here allowed me to really see what work is like in the world of journalism – and also from a range of perspectives. Going into this, I was terrified but everyone I met was extremely welcoming and happy to have me! On the first day, I worked with journalist Lydia Morrish – who was writing an article about how period poverty affects the UK (link to article). This was my favourite article to work on as I managed to include Eltham Hill and how they have been working with the Red Box project to get them recognised and mentioned and to actually see something I had helped develop being published on their website was very rewarding. For the rest of the week, I helped work on different articles about topics such as the criminalisation of poverty, atheist churches, money laundering and assisted voluntary return and integration policies (learning more about these was very interesting too). As well as doing this, I also attended meetings, and this gave me an insight into the different problems that may occur and how these are solved, and just hearing everything develop from the initial call out and discussions in these meetings – to the final product really showed me how things come together.
On the last day, we all went out as a team to eat pizza in the park and enjoy the weather, and I also met Jimmy Wales – the founder of Wikitribune (and Wikipedia itself) and talking to him was very insightful as he told me a lot about what it takes to run a company such as this, and why he wanted to do it as well as how the site has grown and started to reach more people.
Overall I had an interesting and great week, working with a different journalist every day gave me a variety of different approaches towards writing articles, as everyone was very different in terms of their style and their focus of study at university really influenced this. So although this was a very new and nerve-wracking experience for me, and difficult at times – such as getting in the wrong lift and nearly ending up at the completely wrong floor, and getting stuck outside the office because I didn’t have the specified pass, I now feel much more confident and certain in terms of my future career and feel like I have also met people who I will be able to keep in contact with in the future too!
Kelcie Gladwell-Lyttle – My Week with the Bar Council
From the 2nd July – 6th July I was fortunate enough in that I got to spend the week with The Bar Council. The placement gave me the opportunity to experience what being a barrister is like in reality, rather than what I had seen on TV shows.
The first day, after a presentation and lunch with the Bar Council and other students who had a placement, I was taken to 23 Essex Street chambers by one of the barristers, Helena, who was a tenant there. While at the chambers I had the opportunity to read through a court case and create a summary report as well as forming arguments based on an opening statement for a fictitious case I read – this was interesting as they’re tasks that the barristers actually have to do on a day to day basis, so doing them myself gave me a taste of what I would have to do if I do become a barrister.
From Tuesday – Thursday I shadowed Rossano Scamardella QC and Sarah-Kate McIntyre at Wood Green Crown Court in a criminal case that involved possession of firearms which had been linked to other crimes. During these 3 days, I sat in court and was able to see the way evidence is presented, how legal matters are dealt with and the examination in chief and cross-examining of live witnesses in the case.
On Friday I got to take part in a mock trial at the Royal Courts of Justice in which I was a member of the jury, it was both fun and educational, after this myself and the other students went to Gray’s Inn where we had advocacy training, before taking part in another mini mock trial in which I was the defending barrister. The mock trial was based on ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and I was defending ‘Daddy Bear’. It was difficult- as examination-in-chief, questions have to be open and cannot be leading but also need to be able to tell the witnesses side of the story. For my role, I won an award for best advocate which was a £15 gift card!
Afterwards to celebrate the end of our placements, myself and the other students taking part, along with members of the Bar Council had drinks and snacks and had the chance to network. This was a bit prestigious for me and I ended up eating cream cheese and caviar after mistaking it for ice-cream with a blackberry on top – not my finest moment, but I was able to wash it down with some orange juice. I had quite a bit of trouble with the food in general really, I also mistook a bowl of finely grated cheese for rice and tried to eat a spoonful of it, the orange juice saved me again. But I’m so glad I had this opportunity and, as cliche as it sounds, I have learned so much and I feel more comfortable in pursuing a career in Law now. Although its been nerve-wracking I’m sad it’s over.