Having “learned the hard way”, Izzet is aiming to make life a little easier for others

Having “learned the hard way”, Izzet is aiming to make life a little easier for others

Fired up by his own struggles in getting into Law, Izzet Hassan, who now works at one of the five so-called Magic Circle City firms, has set up his own online network to advise others seeking to follow in his footsteps.

While at QE, Izzet (OE 2005-2012) was captain of the tennis team and a noted rugby player. He then read Law at Warwick before going on to take a Master’s degree in Philosophy at Cambridge.

After working at various law firms as a paralegal and in their vacation schemes, Izzet won a training contract with Slaughter and May, where he started in September 2018.

Today, as well as his job as a Future Trainee Solicitor, he runs the Aspiring Commercial Lawyers Network (ACLN), which he set up on Facebook during the autumn of 2019.

“ACLN is a platform designed to help students, graduates and aspiring lawyers break into the legal profession,” he says. “As the first member of my family to go to university, I had to learn the hard way how difficult it is to secure an entry-level position in the field of commercial law.

“My aim is to use the knowledge I have accumulated over the years to help others break into this field.”

The group has expanded rapidly and in its first four months topped 1,000 members.

Izzet is also becoming very well-known on LinkedIn, dispensing nuggets of both general life advice based on his own experience as well as specific guidance for those aiming for a top career in Law.

Writing in February, Izzet said: “My exposure on LinkedIn has grown exponentially over the last two months. Following a few viral posts which have been viewed by almost half a million people, I have become very active in the legal sphere.

“I believe that LinkedIn, as a social media platform, offers an organic reach that is second only to Twitter.

“This, combined with its academic/professional exposure, allows me to advise aspiring lawyers and chime into legal discussions on a much larger scale than would be possible otherwise.”

Here is one recent example of his posts:

  • “I am delighted to announce that I have passed my Stage 1 LPC exams.

The LPC happened to coincide with a very difficult time in my life; at times, it felt as though I was being attacked from every possible angle.

When you’re experiencing adversity, sometimes it is very difficult to see beyond the pain you are suffering.

During times like these, I often think about my greatest fears in life and draw strength from the fact that no matter how bad things may seem, they are still nothing compared to what I fear most.

I don’t believe that life gets any easier; I believe we just become stronger and more resilient over time.

How do you deal with adversity?”

Izzet also pays tribute to the support he received from the specialists at Rare Recruitment, billed on their own website as ‘leaders in diversity graduate recruitment’.

“Rare Recruitment were a great resource for me when I was applying,” he says. “The organisation aims to help aspiring lawyers from less privileged backgrounds break into the legal sphere. I benefited greatly from their support, application reviews and mock interviews.”

Having had a long-term interest in investing, Izzet has developed expertise in property and in CFD (Contract for Difference) trading.

“CFD trading is a relatively new form of derivatives trading which allows investors to speculate on the price of the underlying assets. For example, trading gold has historically been very expensive, however, trading CFD gold contracts allows investors to speculate on the price of the underlying gold assets, without actually having to buy the gold itself.

“I am currently developing an algorithm which will allow me to automate the trading process so that I can trade ‘passively’.

“In terms of property, I am very early in my investing career and have spent a lot of time educating myself on various models, particularly the ‘serviced accommodation’ model. By attending regular networking events, I have formed connections with a number of investors and other property investors which I believe will facilitate my progress.”

Izzet visited the School in 2018, along with his QE contemporary, Suraj Sangani, to speak to boys in Years 11-13 as part of the Senior Lecture Programme about how to pursue a career in Law.

Izzet was scheduled to be the guest speaker at the 55th Annual Elizabethan Union Dinner Debate, which had to be called off because of the pandemic.