By Alaa Fawaz (Year 12)
Last week I hosted a special session for the Law society, where we had a barrister from Quadrant Chambers come to talk to the pupils about a career at the Bar and to answer any questions they had. I had contacted Michael McParland QC a few months ago and I knew he was more than happy to come to our session alongside his busy schedules as an international lawyer. Mr McParland began talking to us about what he does, the nature of his job and the cases he deals with on a regular basis. Afterwards he spoke to us about his successes like writing a book, 'The Rome I Regulation on the Law Applicable to Contractual Obligations' which is a leading textbook on private international law that is even cited with approval by the Advocate-General in the European Court of Justice and also by judges in the Commercial Court. As a very skilled barrister, he has wide-ranging practice in commercial, civil and international advocacy and advice in the courts, arbitral and regulatory tribunals of England and Wales and overseas. In addition to that, he also regularly gives expert evidence on English and European law in the US where he appears on news shows to comment on international legal matters.
Michael was very inspiring and motivational as he emphasised the importance of not being fearful to achieve your goals and to 'not be put off' by the hard work or the financial debt that may come with university. He effectively reiterated that you can strive for success regardless of your ethnicity or socio-economic background which did spark hope and motivation within the pupils.
Towards the end there was a chance for the pupils to ask him questions where, for instance, he answered how he became a lawyer both in England and in California. Michael also gave some advice to a year 11 student regarding A-level subject options and about which would be most suited to study Law. Additionally, he informed the students about the different ways to get into Law, the downsides and benefits that came with studying a history degree before a year of law, including the ability to identify relevant information and analysis which aided him as a barrister. This provided the pupils an insight into his pathway to law and it certainly motivated us to seek a successful future.
For more exciting guests and meetings, attend our regular session where we will be back after the half-term on Wednesdays in G7 at lunch!