Aleksandra Drabek

I am originally from Poland but lived in the United Kingdom since I was 11. My first experience of law began when I was 15, with about 100 phone calls to different practices and exactly 50 cover letters sent out in hope of obtaining work experience. I succeeded and spent a week at Lambeth County Court. I also obtained work experience at Broadway Solicitors; those placements along with my grades enabled me to pursue an LLB at the University of Exeter. During the summer breaks of my degree, I obtained work experience at an NGO in Budapest, a vacation scheme and pro bono work experience at DLA Piper. Whilst undertaking an LLM in European and International Business Law at Leiden University in the Netherlands, I spent 10 months working as a legal assistant at TIP Trailer Services, a subsidiary of a listed company, HNA. Following on from my LLM, I was a paralegal at Cerulean Chambers and a legal trainee at the EMEA headquarters of ASICS. I also completed a vacation scheme at White & Case. I am about to start my LPC and will subsequently join White & Case as a trainee solicitor.

As a state school educated, ethnic minority and a first generation in my family to go to University, I faced many obstacles. Having moved to the United Kingdom, unable to speak English at the age of 11, I was not only disadvantaged by virtue of not speaking the language, but also due to the lasting effect this had on my future. Even once my English was that of a native speaker, my low predicted grades made it practically impossible for me to apply for work experience, secure a place in a grammar school, or be taken seriously when speaking about future career aspirations. To this day, I remember a conversation I had with a career advisor in my secondary school, whereby upon mentioning a desire to work in the legal field, I was told to consider other options, as law was allegedly too difficult and competitive for me to get into.

Consequently, I feel very strongly about helping individuals from varied backgrounds get into law. I look forward to sharing my experiences and mentoring a student. Having utilised many opportunities of Aspiring Solicitors, I am immensely looking forward to joining the Junior Advisory Board. I am delighted to be able to contribute my ideas as to how I would like the organisation to grow as well as share my experiences with students at various events. I believe in being the change I want to see in my society and am therefore willing to put in the time, hard work and effort to facilitate it.