Article and interview by Beth Zheng (LLB Law student at the University of Durham)

Beth interviews future trainee and Aston University graduate, Venandah Madanhi, about her career and the various obstacles she faced before being offered a training contract with Latham & Watkins. How did you know you wanted to become a lawyer?

To be honest, I didn’t. In fact, when I lived in Zimbabwe I was quite an outspoken, very adventurous child and because everyone told me I would become a lawyer one day, I didn’t want to! When I was looking at other university courses, I didn’t really connect with anything else so eventually I chose to study law like my father. I have always known that a law degree is a degree with currency and if I studied law, I could use it in any future work because it governs everything we do.

Aston Law School is very business-focused and soon I found myself quite open to the idea of consultancy until I started doing law firm open days. I quickly realised that commercial law was the one for me because I loved the work being done regardless of which firm I went to. I took part in open days at firms like Shoosmiths, Burges Salmon, Allen & Overy and Clifford Chance. This was a whole new experience for someone like me from a small town called Bilston. The fact I enjoyed the work confirmed to me that it wasn’t just about a firm, but I would be happy doing this kind of work. From there, I knew that law was the career for me. Have you ever felt imposter syndrome? How did you overcome this if you did?

Yes, all the time, especially being a student at a non-Russell group university with a law programme that is relatively new. Law really tests your commitment and you have to really want it. When it came to secure my training contract, I applied for three years straight. The process seemed like it was only getting harder but at the same time I realised that it […]

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