Following on from Chelsea the previous intern at the Guernica Academy, I found comfort and reassurance in reading her blog and learning about the new and exciting activities which she had been involved in. However, I am still in the first stages of my legal career journey which I was worried would cause issues in conducting tasks assigned to me.
As I started my internship, I was starting my final year as an intensive LLB student. As a mature student with children balancing my internship, studies and family life was at the forefront of my mind. However, this was not an issue, given the flexibility and understanding approach which The Academy offers.
I spread my hours over multiple days throughout the week, to fit around university and my family. Carl was always on hand to answer any queries or offer support when needed, no matter what time it was.
Unlike other internships and work experience I have been exposed to, this is an experience like no other.
Throughout my internship I was exposed to a variety of work which I was able to actually work on. This involved the opportunity to draft particulars of claims, Special Rapporteur petitions, advices on merit, grounds for judicial review and INTERPOL red notice challenges. An integral part of the internship was research, which I used to prepare a draft profile, guidance on nolle prosequi which involved research on the principles applied in ICTY and ICTR and the UK.
Unfortunately, due to the current pandemic an opportunity to attend court did not arise, but my internship didn’t just involve Microsoft and legal research. I was invited to an online training session which Guernica 37 were delivering for judges and legal officials from The Gambia. This provided an exciting insight into the work which Guernica 37 are doing involving developing the legal framework and constitution for the judiciary in The Gambia.
I was also invited to watch a live panel discussion hosted by Guernica 37 and No Peace without Justice, which consisted of five panel members providing an insight into the work Guernica37 are doing regarding Egypt, and human rights.
As an intern I was conscious that I might be treated differently and wouldn’t feel part of the team, and it was just a tick in the box for them, but this wasn’t how I felt.
I have gained skills which I would not have gained anywhere else, and most importantly ones which are transferable and will enhance my academic and professional work.
I applied for this internship with the ambition to develop certain skills and have the opportunity to acquire hands on experience aside from the normal mini pupillage, in a setting that was different from the normal London based opportunities which are unpaid and incur considerable costs when undertaking.
The Guernica 37 Academy provided this and was unusually, a paid internship.
Financial worries are a burden which most of us face, especially when following the legal career path, it’s not a cheap one! Being paid presented an opportunity for me which I would not be in a financial position to undertake normally.
This Academy has without a doubt provided a turning point in equipping me with the skills which are required for me to develop to the next stage.
The dedication and support the Barristers at Guernica 37 showed not just me but their clients is inspiring!
I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank Carl for his continued support and his dedication to The Academy and its core values. There were many times I felt overwhelmed with ‘imposter syndrome’ and still do. This is something that is important to acknowledge and talk through with someone. Entering a very competitive industry, not from the ‘normal’ background being surrounded by people I wouldn’t normally interact with, is daunting at the best of times. Carl provided an opportunity to talk this through and provided support and encouragement. This would not be possible if it wasn’t for The Academy and having been successful in my application was another one of those moments.
No matter what your age or background don’t rule yourself out. I would encourage everyone not to let this unique opportunity pass you by.
Kerry Cox is currently an LLB Intensive undergraduate with determination to succeed. Motivated through personal experiences, and the desire to represent diversity at The Bar. She has developed advocacy skills whilst working in a range of front facing public sector roles and awarded two Police Commendations. Hoping to combine legal experience with knowledge as a Barrister. A mother from a working class background, this fits The Bar Council’s desire to increase diversity of those becoming barristers.
Kerry is currently with The Guernica Academy and is due to complete her internship in early December 2020.