Article by Pathways to Law student Freya Williams.
On Friday 20 April, members of the fifth Pathways to Law cohort visited the London offices of Volterra Fietta, the ‘only dedicated public international law firm in the world’. The day was filled with talks from a broad range of its members, beginning with an overview of the structure of the legal industry, different roles within it, and the types of cases Volterra Fietta is involved in.
This was then followed by an opportunity to hear from an intern and an associate, offering a greater understanding of the specifications of their particular careers, a typical working day, and how they had first entered into the law. We were also able to meet other members of the firm during lunch, discussing with them their personal career routes. A large proportion of them had chosen to enrich their education through undertaking a wealth of super-curricular work that included academic doctorates, pro bono volunteering and internships with international courts and the UN. The variety of their experience offered a new perspective upon the more traditional legal paths that we had encountered previously. With frequent references to the benefits of living and working abroad, fresh appeal was brought to university courses offering a fourth year in a foreign country.
We were then challenged in a practical exercise during which we were supplied with a mock case, using the relevant information to formulate arguments as representatives of the three parties. Negotiating a peaceful resolution was a test but was thoroughly enjoyed by all, much like the day itself.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience, giving us a comprehensive insight into the versatility of careers within public international law. We would further like to thank Volterra Fietta for hosting such a comprehensive and engaging event.
About Pathways to Law
Oxford Pathways to Law aims to support and encourage academically able students in Year 12 and 13, from non-privileged backgrounds, who are interested in pursuing a career in law. The project is part of a nation-wide scheme developed by The Sutton Trust and The Legal Education Foundation who aim to make the law profession open to those from all backgrounds.