Coming through Clearing hasn't held me back, says Lloyd, now a paralegal at Hugh James

Lloyd Haines graduated in 2017 from the LLB (Hons) Law degree at USW. Two weeks after graduating, he secured a job working as a paralegal at the prestigious Cardiff-based law firm Hugh James, specialising in personal injury. 

“I came to university through the Clearing process. I didn't do quite as well as I had hoped for my A Levels and was at a turning point in my life where I wasn't sure whether to pursue my love for music or my ambition of becoming a lawyer. I simply couldn't see them going hand in hand so nearly left the idea of University all together. 

The university staff comforted me on my results and really boosted my confidence, which was much needed at that time of my life given how difficult and daunting I found the whole decision-making process. Admissions were efficient in getting me ready for my start day and sent me all correspondence instantly, checking up on how I was doing now and then until September."

 On coming to USW to study Law:

"Overall, university has been the most character building experience that I will probably ever embark upon. I've been a member of the Law Society and been a Course Representative of the year but I won't lie - at times I've struggled. The person who brought me back to a focussed approach and driven attitude was my Head of Year, Clare Lewis. I might as well have lived in that office during my second and third year but her unconditional support and patience with me truly got me through. Particularly, in my second-year exams I was in the worst emotional state I have been in my life - I was experiencing numerous issues at home with a relationship breakdown as the icing on the cake; I genuinely was *this close* to calling it a day. I told my Clare and instantly she was there pushing me forward; "Keep going." Low and behold, my three highest grades that year that would be taken into my final year averaged at a first class.

I am also grateful for the experience that I gained in the Legal and Financial Advice Clinic module that I took as a 40-credit final year topic. The first-hand dealings with clients regarding real legal issues stretching from Child Arrangement Orders in family law to flying freehold issues in land law greatly enhanced my research, communication and problem solving skills and of course, my legal knowledge. The one year pro bono placement in Cardiff put me a step ahead of applicants, and was also a lot of fun!"

On Lloyd’s successful music career:

 “I cannot thank the University enough for opening my eyes to show me first hand that I can carry on my music career whilst also working a career in law. The USW Student Union for Score! Wednesdays was the first residency ever offered to me, I was DJing to 700+ a week and presenting the biggest of names in the dance music scene, such as trance legend, Radio 1's Dave Pearce. By playing to this crowd on a weekly basis, I progressed to where I am now being signed to London label, Somatic Records and Miami label, Morph, with my releases being on iTunes, Spotify, Beatport and more, gigging across the UK and overseas! The law faculty were incredibly supportive of extracurricular activities and the students particularly liked the fact that the dance music front man of the university was also a student!”

On graduating and going to work at Hugh James:

"Graduating from university is a dream to be honest! I didn't think I had it in me at times, but thanks to the incredible support I received I've done it - it feels good, real good. The same time last year that I thought I couldn't even pass, I am now working for a top 100 UK law firm and the number one compensator in Wales as rated by Chambers.

Within two weeks of finishing my finals I got my current job at Hugh James as a paralegal in the specialist personal injury department. I'm currently dealing with personal injury claims ranging from road traffic accidents to employer's and occupier's liability. I have also been assigned to the new data protection claims considering the new law developing in this area - exciting times to say the least, I'm proud to play a part in that given that Hugh James is the only firm dealing with such claims! The team has been so friendly and welcoming and my supervisor is helping me where I find difficulty, whilst also pushing me to do my very best in line with the firm's vigorous approach to providing the highest standard of care to their clients." 

On his future plans?

"My plans are to work hard, play hard, stay inspired and enjoy the ride!"

 

You can listen to Lloyd's music online at his Soundcloud page.