Victoria Harkness

Victoria Harkness Junior Advisory Board Aspiring Solicitors

I recently graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Law from Lancaster University and am currently studying the LPC at BPP University in Manchester. I am due to commence my Training Contract with DWF LLP in September 2018.

I joined the Aspiring Solicitors’ Advisory Board because of the skills and confidence that Aspiring Solicitors helped me to develop. When I joined Aspiring Solicitors I lacked confidence. I was unsure about my career path and whether I was good enough to succeed in the legal profession. Additionally, I did not know where to begin with applications, assessment centres or interviews. I was offered the opportunity to participate in a mentoring programme and worked with Gemma throughout the recruitment process which was instrumental in helping me secure a place on three vacation schemes, and ultimately, a training contract. As a member of the Junior Advisory Board I hope to give back to the organisation that helped me achieve my goals, while also helping someone who is in the same position I was in not so long ago achieve theirs.

Diversity has become increasingly important to me upon reflection of my upbringing in the political landscape of Northern Ireland where many areas are still polarised by religion. Growing up with parents of different religions, but attending two different religiously predominated schools, I witnessed the detrimental effect segregation and a lack of diversity can have first hand. Prejudiced views that people hold about others who are different to them are fuelled by a lack of diversity, leading to high levels of tension and sometimes even violence. Therefore, diversity is important to me as it challenges this level of closed mindedness, teaching people to be more accepting of others who are different to them.