Featuring representatives from distinguished human rights law firms, UCL SPBC drew the first academic term to an end with the impactful Human Rights Panel. The panel event was held on 14 December 2022 in a hybrid format at Denys Holland Lecture Theatre. The speakers were Eva Roszykiewicz and Erica San from Bhatt Murphy, Gimhani Eriyagolla from Hodge Jones & Allen, Alex Temple from Bindmans, and Sarah Westoby from Leigh Day.
The main objective of the panel event was to demystify careers in human rights law. UCL SPBC wished to provide students who are interested in the practice area with the necessary career orientation, by giving them insights into the daily life of a human rights lawyer and the qualifying pathways. Targeted at a wide range of audiences, the speakers have broad expertise in different aspects of human rights law, such as police misconduct, immigration detention, criminal justice, civil liberties, and asylum support.
The speakers were enthusiastic in sharing their personal motivations that led them to a career in human rights law. The students were intrigued by the speakers’ passion and tenacity to create social impact by embracing such challenging careers. Other topics that were discussed included the challenges that should be expected along the course of being a human rights lawyer, the best ways to cope with them, and the mindset necessary to sustain a long-term career in human rights law. From the speakers’ realistic account of their personal experiences, the students were able to glean a better understanding of how to break into human rights law. Overall, it was an interactive session that successfully brought the students closer to the meaningful sector.
For students aspiring to venture into human rights law, the speakers recommended obtaining volunteering experience as a means of affirming their interests. Doing volunteering is a helpful way of exploring the facets of human rights law, ranging from women’s rights to finer points of housing law, and affirming the specific area of interest. Keep an eye on our official Instagram page (@uclprobono) to receive updates on the latest volunteering opportunities with our partner organisations.