Stand up and stand out: advice to QE’s budding lawyers from old boy

Stand up and stand out: advice to QE’s budding lawyers from old boy

A litigator working at the heart of the UK’s financial regulatory system urged on QE’s aspiring lawyers the importance of a genuine passion for the Law.

Those who possess such a passion and duly enter the legal profession must then make sure they stand out from the crowd, Samir Manek (OE 2001-2008) advised senior pupils in a lunchtime lecture.

Samir, who took a First in Law at the University of Warwick, trained at Allen & Overy, one of the so-called ‘magic circle’ of leading UK law firms. He now works at the Financial Conduct Authority, where his job title is Associate (Solicitor). His role entails supervising a global investment bank to ensure adherence to the letter and spirit of the rules, and assisting with investigations into, and prosecution of, white-collar crime at investment banks.

In the lecture, he told the boys: “You have to have a good and natural reason for wanting to study Law, and, once out of university, work in it – not that everyone who reads Law has to become a lawyer. It’s no good studying it because your parents have told you to, and I hope that’s not the case for anyone here,” he said, suggesting the boys needed to think about the what, where, when and why of studying Law.

He also advised boys to make the most of opportunities to prepare for their future. “Do read things, email barristers – I followed a QC about, which was very useful! All this will help you to gain insight and experience.”

During his time as an undergraduate, Samir became President of the Warwick European Law Society and was involved in the university debating team. He also spent a year abroad at Utrecht University.

He told the pupils it was important to take and to make opportunities to excel. “You are all incredibly bright and, if you work hard, you’ll do well wherever you go, but think about what will make you stand out – it is always good to have a position of leadership, even if it’s not related to Law,” said Samir. In the afternoon, after the lecture, he conducted mock interviews for a number of Year 13 boys.

Head of Year 13 Michael Feven thanked Samir for contributing his time and for his sound advice. “It is very important that our boys’ career choices tally with their own strengths and interests,” he said.