Leading lawyer Paula Swain mentors Solent students in role as university visiting fellow

February, 2022 - Milton Keynes, England

Paula Swain, head of Shoosmiths’ national business debt recovery team and head of the firm’s Solent office, put aspiring lawyers through their paces last week in her first ‘in person’ appointment as a visiting scholar.

Paula, who is also the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) representative on the Solent Freeport Consortium Board, lent her valuable expertise to students at Solent University Law School by taking them through the workings of a real-world contract.

Paula was appointed as a visiting fellow at Solent University in September 2021, but due to Covid related constraints, last week marked her first physical visit to the classroom.
Julia Ishak, legal director and head of commercial at Shoosmiths Solent, supported Paula by leading the innovative hybrid event remotely.

The undergraduates were taken through the contract for Solent Students’ Union Safe Solent initiative, which provides a free taxi home for students working late in the library. 
During the session, Paula and Julia asked the students to consider practical aspects to drafting a contract such as bargaining power, risk, the objectives of the client, drafting skills and managing liability.

Paula Swain said: “I am very proud to be a visiting fellow for Solent University, and grateful for the opportunity to engage directly with law students. My own university days are a long way behind me, but I recall the very important and real value gained from speaking with members of the profession I aspired to join.

“This role should be an enabler for insights and mentoring, and this was a great first step.”

Kevin Rogers, director of Solent Law School, said: ‘I was delighted to welcome our visiting fellow Paula Swain and Julia Ishak to the university to work with our students on a real-world contract drafting project.

“I’m so pleased that the importance Solent Law School places on education, mentoring and practical experience provides a platform for Paula and her team to engage with our students and offer such a valuable insight for the lawyers of tomorrow. I know all the students that attended found it an enjoyable and eye-opening session.”