Emma Burton

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Law
Job title: LPC Student/Future Trainee Solicitor
Subject of study: Law
Year of graduation: 2020
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Baker McKenzie

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

Following my graduation in 2020, I had a six month gap from studying. In January 2021, I started my LPC at BPP University. On completion of this, I will start my Training Contract with Baker McKenzie in September 2021.

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

I chose to pursue a legal career as I really enjoyed the practical, problem-solving aspect of it. I was particularly interested in commercial law, and working for an international firm like Baker McKenzie, as I knew it would provide me with really intellectually challenging work and the opportunity to represent big clients, many of which are household names.

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

Before securing my graduate role I had a lot of involvement with the law society. In my first year, I competed in mooting competitions and in my second year I joined the committee to help organise the mooting programme. As part of my involvement with the society I also helped organise and attended various networking events and talks, which helped me gain a greater insight into a legal career and decide which law firms I wanted to apply to.

Were you part of the Exeter Student Ambassador Scheme at any point during your studies?


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

I really enjoyed the parts of my degree which allowed a practical application of the law, which is what encouraged me that I would enjoy working as a solicitor. Further, the opportunities the law school provided to get involved with pro bono were really enjoyable. In the summer after my first year I volunteered in court with a charity which helped litigants in person, an opportunity which I secured through the law school. This chance to see a real life application of the law, and to be able to work with clients, really motivated me to pursue a career in this field.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

The thing I enjoyed most about studying at Exeter was the overall atmosphere I experienced in my time here. I have always found the people I have met here to be really friendly and helpful, and felt like I was, and still am, part of a community of students in Exeter.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

One of the reasons I chose to study at Exeter was that I saw how the university had a lot of interaction with a range of different law firms, which I felt could give me a good exposure to the career I wanted to pursue from day 1. Aside from this, I also really liked that the city was so compact, with everything from campus to town easily walkable from wherever I lived. This helped add to the community atmosphere I felt at Exeter which made it very easy to feel at home in.

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

I found my time on the committee of the law society at Exeter one of the most valuable experiences for securing my graduate role. The skills of teamwork, leadership and time management that I gained from this were ones that most consistently came up in applications and interviews, making the experience particularly useful. Equally, I feel I gained a lot of useful skills even from simply attending various networking events, which taught me a lot about how to interact with people from firms and build a rapport with them. I know that these networking skills will continue to be useful throughout my career and if anything, I wish I had used the opportunities available to me to build on them more during my time at Exeter.

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

It’s never too early to start thinking about your career – I’m always glad that I secured my graduate role in my second year of university as it meant the pressure was really off for third year and after graduating. Also, never be put off applying for somewhere or going for a certain opportunity purely out of fear of failure, or not being good enough. Imposter syndrome made me intimidated of applying to law firms, but ultimately I managed to secure 2 vacation schemes (one of which was at Baker McKenzie, and the other of which was at a Magic Circle firm) and I regret the applications I didn’t make far more than any of the ones that I did. Lastly, don’t be afraid to reach out to people when you’re looking into a career or applying to a certain place. One of the things I wish I did more is reach out to people on LinkedIn or even on my course who I knew had some experience with law firms I was interested in. It’s such an easy way to get a greater insight. The worst thing that could happen is the person will say no, but its far more likely that they’ll say yes and give some really useful information.

What are your plans for the future?

In September 2021 I will start my Training Contract at Baker McKenzie.


Similar Alumni

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.

Benjamin Rana

Macfarlanes. Since leaving Exeter, I pursued the MSc Legal Technology at the University of Law and now I’m working at Macfarlanes as a Legal Technology and Innovation Executive, part of the Lawtech group at the firm.