Edward Dempsey

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Law
Job title: Legal Assistant
Subject of study: Law with Business
Year of graduation: 2022
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Freeths LLP

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Since leaving Exeter I worked at Shoosmiths LLP as a legal assistant in their Court of Protection team for two months before joining Freeths. I currently work as a legal assistant in their Construction and Engineering team and have just secured a training contract with the firm to start in February 2025.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I chose law because I have always enjoyed complex and mentally challenging tasks that push me to learn different and new things. Law is the perfect intersection of these traits whilst also affording engaging client contact and a fast-paced professional environment. My choice of Construction at Freeths specifically was a result of their graduate program and the opportunity to earn a training contract whilst working, the construction aspect was secondary but I have since found that I thoroughly enjoy the work in a highly niche contract focussed area.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

During my time at Exeter I was a member of Flamank Law Society, the History Society, and Touch Rugby Society. Specifically I was vice-president of Flamank Law Society in my second year and then president of the society in my final year.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

The part of the programme that I enjoyed the most was the welcoming atmosphere of the Falmouth campus and the Law School as well as my cohort. My favourite highlight of the programme modules were the company law modules available in third year taught by Nick Pointon, I personally found the content most enjoyable and the teaching style was engaging but informative through a focus on contextualising the material.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The friends I made on the course are what I enjoyed most, but specific to studying at the Falmouth campus, I most enjoyed being near the sea and having a very unique experience in that respect.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I chose to study at Exeter because the University has a very strong law school and a very strong business school and is well-recognised in the UK and abroad. Beyond the strength of the University, I found the materials handed out during the open day and the student volunteers to be friendly and informative in a way that resonated with me. I also think the uniqueness of the course, campus and teaching style were big attractions at the time I was making my choice.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

The ability to take leadership, or ownership, of a role is something that is often overlooked as a skill but is quintessential to the legal profession as most matters will be handled with a high degree of independence. I learnt this from taking active roles in Flamank Law Society and undertaking tasks I found challenging or novel such as debating and mooting. Adaptability and being able to withstand pressure are traits that again are essential to a lawyer as work can be unpredictable and arrives in varying degrees of urgency. Undertaking stressful or wildly different roles/tasks to those you have done before can help teach you how to manage a taskload and be ahead of many others in your cohort.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Any and all work experience is worthwhile if you are able to present it in the correct manner. This has helped me massively by allowing me to apply for roles that I may have overlooked which have now stationed me to be in the position I currently am. I would also say, from a practical point of view, always keep abreast of what’s happening in the news commercially and socially as this will benefit you in interviews and general conversation more than a large section of your legal training.

What are your plans for the future?

Having secured a training contract with a highly reputable firm my plans for the future are to qualify, I have no preference as to which specialty as of yet, and then carry on in the profession either in-house or through private practice. If I am able to take international/commercial secondments or appointments then I would relish that opportunity but I have no immediate plans to move abroad.


Similar Alumni

Richard Ive

Farrar’s Building. After leaving Exeter in September 2016, I moved to London to commence the law conversion course – the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL). I completed this in June 2016. In September 2017, I commenced the BPTC – the Bar Course. I completed this in June 2018.

Jasmine Murphy

Gatehouse Chambers. After leaving Exeter in 1998 I undertook Bar School part time while working part time in London as a receptionist. In 2002 I obtained a pupillage at Hardwicke Building, following which I was offered a tenancy. I have practiced there (although we changed our name to Gatehouse Chambers in 2021) ever since and specialise in personal injury and professional negligence work.