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From student to Partner: Law grad Tom shares his journey

Date 11.05.2021

University of Northampton Law graduate, Tom Warrender, joined students and staff as part of the most recent ‘So, here’s the thing…’ guest speaker session, to share his journey from student, to leading commercial property lawyer, named in the Legal 500 a guide to “who’s who” in the legal world, and equity partner at Wilson Browne Solicitors.

Tom took students and staff on a trip down memory lane, as he reflected on his time studying Law at the University of Northampton and shared his inspirational words of advice.

Reflecting on his own time studying, and module choices, he said: “You shouldn’t get too worried about planning out your module choices at University because you are unlikely to know yet  what kind of law you want to specialise in. Grasp all the opportunities that come your way and try out all areas of the Law, be bold and pick your modules based on what you’re interested in but most importantly, keep an open mind.

“I always had this idea that I wanted to work in criminal law, but one of my work experience placements showed me that practicing criminal law wasn’t for me. When I was studying, I did not enjoy land law, but in practice, it’s become my passion and I’ve carved a very successful career from it.”

Alongside his studies, Tom volunteered as an advisor at Northampton Citizens Advice Bureau, an opportunity he believes made him stand out from the crowd as he first began searching for training contracts. Tom said: “While you’re studying at Northampton, I urge you to grab the opportunities available to you. Throughout your studies you’ll have the chance to volunteer or obtain work experience placements, it’s this kind of experience that helps you stand out from the crowd when you’re applying for your first training contracts. When I’m recruiting people, it’s these things that I look at first. Yes, you might have a degree, but (a) so will everyone else and (b) what other life experiences do you have?”

Speaking to an audience of budding solicitors and legal eagles, Tom encouraged the students to never forget the basics of attention to detail, with their university work, and most definitely in their applications to potential employers. “Everything you do as a legal professional is about attention to detail. As an employer, I know that you’re probably applying to quite a few places, but do your research and apply with care, knowledge, and professionalism. Make sure you do your research, at interview you are likely going to be asked  why you specifically want to work for my firm, and you need a good answer for that.”

‘So, here’s the thing…’ is an eclectic programme of guest speakers hosted by the University Library and Learning Services team. Every month, speakers take to the floor to talk about the things they’re most passionate or knowledgeable about. Previous sessions enlightened and entertained by covering a wide range of topics including freedom of speech, eating disorders, firearms trafficking, public information films, screenwriting, and the sociology of hair. Over the coming months you can join a session and hear more about the world of vinyl music and Go, the world’s oldest game.