Starting Out In Family Law

Publication Date21 March 2022
SubjectFamily and Matrimonial, Family Law
Law FirmFamily Law Group
AuthorFamily Law Group

I have been a paralegal at Family Law Group for eight months. Prior to joining, I studied Law with American Law (LLB) (Hons) at the University of Nottingham. My course was four years long and for my third year, I was selected to study at the University of Texas at Austin with five other students. We arrived in August 2018 and spent ten months in Texas before coming back to the UK in June 2019.

My time abroad involved many challenges and experiences. I lived in a completely different society and culture. They say "everything is bigger in Texas" and from the food and buildings to the personalities of everyone I met, this proved true every day. It was a wonderful experience embracing new places we explored, new music, new ways of cooking and getting around town (E-scooters were a thing in America long before they became popular in the UK!).

As an international law student, my time in Texas was very different to life in the UK. The University of Texas at Austin is a very large institution which is woven into the fabric of the city itself. In fact, Austin was founded as a university city and grew from there. My school routine was similar to that in England; I attended lectures and seminars much as I would in Nottingham. What I studied, however, was notably different in kind to that which English universities offer.

In my first semester (August – December 2018), I was selected to participate in the University of Texas at Austin's Human Rights Clinic. I was the only British student in my class that semester, which was both terrifying and humbling as my classmates often sought insights from me other students could not provide. I was assigned a project with two other students to research and author a report on the human rights implications of school shootings in the USA, instigated by the tragic Sante Fe School massacre in 2018. We represented one of the victim's families, and as part of my role, I was sent to Washington University in St Louis, Missouri, to network with attorneys. This was the first multi-state anti-gun violence conference in the USA.

My second semester (December 2018 – June 2019) allowed me to explore legal topics I never before considered, such as animal law and the law on social media...

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