Shiryn Sayani

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Law
Job title: Communications Manager
Subject of study: Law
Year of graduation: 2016
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

The Bar Council

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

After leaving Exeter I interned at the BBC, a human rights charity called Amicus-ALJ, and at the District-Attorney’s Office in Athens, GA, in the United States. I also volunteered at Gloucester Law Centre and then began a job as a Policy Assistant for the Bar Council, which represents all barristers in England and Wales and raises justice policy issues with the government. In my time there I was promoted to Communications Officer (Policy & Campaigns) and then again to my current role: Communications Manager (Policy & Campaigns).

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

It was a job I didn’t know existed but it allows me to use a mixture of creativity and legal awareness to affect external discussions on justice policy issues, which I find really interesting. I most enjoy working with senior leaders, both in the legal sector and in government and advising them on the best approach to take in external communications, as well as having a line into the press to create valuable stories about access to justice issues.

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

Xpression FM (trained presenter with a weekly show), Bracton Law Society, Women and Law, and The Undergraduate journal.

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

My area of study was challenging but so interesting – I was able to study such a wide range of law from Constitutional Law to Gender, Sexuality & Law, as well as Negotiation and Medical Ethics & Law. I learnt so much about contemporary issues in society which you don’t necessarily expect in a programme as traditional as Law. My biggest highlight would have to be the Law Ball that was held at Exeter Castle – always a good time!

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Exeter is very close knit and as a place it’s the ideal uni town – lots of greenery, easy access to uni buildings and always seeing people you know in town and on nights out! I really enjoyed these elements of Exeter as a place (especially the beautiful Quay) and even learnt to grow fond of the infamously steep Forum Hill (only just!)

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I knew Exeter was highly ranked for Law and when I visited I just felt comfortable – it was a small, scenic university town but still felt well connected enough that I wouldn’t feel cut off or get bored. The quality of teaching also meant that you got access to experts in their field, which isn’t something you can get anywhere.

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

Learning to construct persuasive arguments and attention to detail is definitely a bonus whatever your career path but it has been particularly so for mine, as communication is fundamental to law and to everything I do.

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

Speak to people who are in careers that interest and see what advice they can offer for your particular experience. I was lucky to be in a position to do unpaid internships, but they shouldn’t be the norm and you can get useful experience through volunteering without cost to yourself. Be open minded, demonstrate your interest that area and keep on top of policy issues by keeping an eye on relevant media.

What are your plans for the future?

I am lucky to have some really helpful mentors to seek advice for the future from. I’m planning to learn more about campaigns and develop my career in the field of policy-related and political comms, hopefully getting the chance to work across the third sector in the years to come.

 

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.