At Northumbria Law School’s award winning Student Law Office, students are exposed to working with real clients including dynamic local businesses, under the supervision of qualified solicitors.
Current law Students James Warnock and Jaimie Hill have recently been assisting one such company, FIRST Face to Face Ltd, by providing it with free legal advice and documentation at an important stage in its development. FIRST is the brainchild of founder Charlotte Windebank and was set up in 2014 with the aim of establishing a network of business, industry and academia to promote young people’s future employment and enterprise opportunities.
The company has been going from strength to strength and Charlotte’s entrepreneurial spark has recently been recognised by Maserati and the Centre for Entrepreneurs as she was listed in the Maserati 100 – a list of the most successful business leaders actively supporting the next generation of entrepreneurs.
FIRST provides a networking environment in which business professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs can establish vital connections, as the company’s motto stresses, “all new business starts with a conversation”. The company has worked to deliver exciting projects and events to a wide range of clients and partners and also works closely with established local networking business Bridge Club, headed up by Caroline Theobald who is also a director of FIRST.
One recent FIRST project involves working with ‘NEETS’ (Young Persons Not in Education, Employment or Training) in conjunction with Sunderland City Council, and aims to get 16-18 year olds interested in a career in IT. Another involves FIRST providing mentoring support to NUOVO, Northumbria University’s Enterprise Society.
With FIRST going through an important stage of growth and development, Charlotte thought the company would benefit from obtaining some legal advice and a contact recommended that she get in touch with the Student Law Office at Northumbria University. The Student Law Office provides free legal advice to the public in a range of different legal areas including business and commercial law.
Charlotte said of the service:
“The Student Law Office was engaged to provide FIRST with advice about branding and intellectual property, its website terms and conditions and its ongoing filing and administrative requirements. Given the strong social media and networking focus of the business it was great that the students were able to work closely with FIRST to ensure the website terms were robust whilst fitting with the overall ethos of the company. I was really impressed with the service the Student Law Office provided”.
Victoria Gleason, the qualified solicitor supervising the students’ work added:
“It is great that James and Jaimie have had the opportunity to work with such an inspiring business and to put their legal knowledge into practice. I know they have found it great preparation for their legal careers and that Charlotte has even been kind enough to provide some networking and careers advice to them in return. I think this collaboration between the Student Law Office and FIRST highlights that the North East is a brilliant place to study, work and start a business.”