updated on 21 April 2020
Cardiff University Law Society is an integral part of every law student’s experience at Cardiff University. We are present for our students from the moment A-level results are announced to that glorious moment they walk across St David's Hall at graduation. Throughout this time, we assist our new members with their assimilation into university (and Cardiff) life, provide our returning members with a community they feel comfortable in, and give all our members ample opportunities to develop new skills that will contribute to their graduate employability.
For these reasons, we won the ‘Best at Student Engagement’ award at the LawCareers.Net Student Law Society Awards 2020 and were nominated for ‘Best Society Overall’. The following information details elements of our engagement with members on campus throughout the academic year.
With more than 850 followers on Instagram and 4,000 likes on Facebook, our social media pages are the biggest point of engagement with our members. Whether it be to communicate details of our upcoming events or announce applications for our sub-committees, we use these platforms constantly to spread the word about upcoming events, deadlines and last-minute announcements.
All questions, no matter how trivial, are acknowledged and responded to by our team. When we receive questions of the same nature, our communications officer usually aims to host a question and answer session on Instagram. Here, students can anonymously submit queries that we will respond to and publish online, visible to everyone.
On each of our social media platforms, we also encourage our students to engage with our sponsors. We advertise information such as application deadlines, careers events, and graduate opportunities. For example, we recently showcased each of our sponsors that attended the Cardiff Law Fair in October, using Instagram stories to map their booths on the day so students could easily find their way around.
Our weekly newsletter, sponsored by CMS, is sent by email to all of our members every Monday. We include highlights from the previous week, important announcements, and a clear calendar list of every event for the following week. We understand that our students are bombarded with information, and therefore we find that this newsletter eliminates the clutter of multiple emails and instead provides an effective alternative to discover our upcoming events.
Skills and careers events
At Cardiff, we believe that your career in law is not solely about academics. Both the Law School and our society focus extensively on shaping practical skills. We have many opportunities throughout the year for students to develop proficiencies in public speaking, advocacy, and commercial awareness. This year, our Commercial Awareness Award, sponsored by Clifford Chance, consisted of three practical workshops and culminated in a trip to the Clifford Chance London office for an exclusive insight afternoon. In addition, our Aspiring Barristers sub-committee has organised Crown Court visits and workshops to support our Bar-focused students to gain practical experience for future pupillages.
Similarly, our society hosts at least two careers events per week in the first semester. We tend to ask our sponsors to host non-traditional events with us to better interact with our students, such as our Osborne Clarke mini-golf evening, Eversheds Sutherland cocktail/mocktail-making event and Womble Bond Dickinson negotiation workshop. At these events, we aim to give our members the chance to network with legal professionals and find out more about our firm sponsors in a low-pressure environment. These events are open to students of all years, including our postgraduate members.
As our very first interaction with students on campus, the freshers fair is an important way that we engage our members. We assembled more than 100 welcome packs this year, filled with freebies from our sponsors, a booklet of information on the Law Society and a helpful bookmark with our social media handles – all placed in an environmentally friendly, reusable tote bag printed with our logo. The booklets contain important information about our events, including our Annual Spring Law Ball (sponsored by Eversheds Sutherland), as well as useful resources and contacts at the Law School.
On the evening of freshers fair, we also hold our first welcome social at the Students’ Union bar, the Taf. For this event, we ensure that every student is given a voucher which can be redeemed for a non-alcoholic or alcoholic drink so that all students feel comfortable and welcome.
Last, but not least, our engagement with our members is likely successful due to our close relationship with the School of Law and Politics. From summer, our committee is in constant communication with staff at the Law School to organise events around welcome week and week one for all students. Staff kindly work with our committee to arrange lecture shout-outs and social media announcements so students are aware of our upcoming events, including our international annual trip which takes place during reading week. We have even hosted a pizza night with Law School staff for our first-year students during the first teaching week, so they could interact with lecturers and tutors in a comfortable environment.
Overall, grounded in the foundation of an exceptionally friendly and reputable university, Cardiff University Law Society is committed to supporting our students in all areas, from academics to careers to welfare. We are proud to be there for our members through each step they take at university, no matter how big or small.
Cardiff University Law Society won the award for Best at Student Engagement at the 2020 Student Law Society Awards