Shoosmiths’ Paula Swain helps Solent students ‘look to the future’

Leading lawyer Paula Swain mentored aspiring law and business students this week, as part of an innovative careers event at Solent University, Southampton.

Paula, who is head of Shoosmiths’ Solent office and heads the national law firm’s business to business debt recovery team, joined a panel of business leaders from throughout the region including representatives from Southampton FC, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and NatWest at the ‘Your future at work’ themed event.

During the two-day taster organised by the university’s law and business schools, Paula and the panel offered insight and advice on the world of work to over 160 students aged 16 to 18 from schools and colleges across Hampshire, Dorset, and the Isle of Wight.

As well as being grilled in an hour-long Q&A, the panel discussed themes including what work may look like in the future, tips on being recruited and finding work experience, and how to stand out from the crowd. Paula also helped students imagine what a law firm of the future might look like.

Paula became a visiting fellow at Solent Law School last year and is passionate about championing social mobility both in her role at Shoosmiths and as part of Solent Local Economic Partnership (LEP) where she is a director. Earlier this year she also hosted a masterclass taking undergraduate law students at the university through the workings of a real-life contract.

Paula said: “I didn’t have the opportunity to speak with an actual lawyer until I had started my law degree.  My own degree choice was a leap of faith and based on mentor suggestions. Fortunately, it worked out for me, but I’m sure some ‘in real life’ conversations would have helped to affirm my choice.” 

Kevin Rogers, Director of Solent Law School, said: “Solent University’s law and business taster day and careers conference was a superb way to engage with a large number of local schools and colleges in supporting students who are looking to study these subjects at university.

“Paula’s valuable insight on the employer’s panel session provided attendees with a glimpse of the workplace today as well as thoughts about what a law firm may look like in the future. The strong message that came across was that everyone has a contribution to make and this was a real encouragement to those present.”

Paula was also appointed as the LEP representative on the Solent Freeport Consortium Board in 2021 and has been instrumental in its successful bid for Freeport status. It is thought she is the only lawyer appointed by an LEP to such a position.


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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