CUDC visited Hewitsons’ Cambridge office to learn about how a successful law firm operates and the legal profession in the UK.
The 30 law undergraduates from Shanghai University of Political Science and Law heard talks from various legal and non-legal staff at the firm’s office in Newmarket Road on Wednesday (August 22).
Subjects included the UK’s legal system and court structure; the different teams involved in running a law firm; the role of marketing; the process of becoming a lawyer; and what is it like to be a litigation solicitor.
Hewitsons Partner Mark Elmslie, who was among the speakers, said afterwards: “It was great to have the students here. They all seemed to be very attentive and driven. They were clearly interested to learn about some of the differences between the legal systems here in the UK and in China, and how a law firm services the needs of its clients on a day to day basis.”
The visit formed part of the Cambridge Academic Development Seminar (CADS) programme, which was jointly organised by China UK Development Centre (CUDC), Maxer Education Institute (Maxer) and various Colleges in Cambridge to bring outstanding overseas students to Cambridge for professional academic and language courses. As part of this, the students visit top international companies.
As well as having offices in Cambridge, London, Milton Keynes and Northampton, Hewitsons has an international reach, through Law Exchange International (LEI), which the firm founded in 1994. LEI is an association of independent law firms covering the world’s major commercial centres, giving clients access to a comprehensive web of trusted local legal counsel from across the globe. It now has 33 independent law firms as members, from 29 countries, with membership growing each year.
Ruigang Zhou, Head of Operations and Partnerships at CUDC and Maxer, said: “The visit to Hewitsons was a great opportunity for our students to learn how a UK law firm operates differently compared to a Chinese law firm, as well as the process of becoming a lawyer. The students have had a series of lectures/workshops in the subject of law by academics in the programme, and a visit to the leading law firm completes the programme in both the theory and the practice. Many thanks to Hewitsons for hosting our visit ”