Students can benefit from a carefully planned career path. But what advice is given to them about their studies?

I had an application for work experience recently for next year. I get plenty of such requests and try to accommodate them when I can. The main difficulty is that the nature of the work we do is not really suitable for students of aged 15 or even 14. You can send a young person to court but not to prison, psychiatric hospital or many of the places we work in. Much of the matter of the files in our office is hardly suitable either.

I consider that under the age of 16 is too young.

And what struck me as unusual for this application was the student’s second choice if he did not get a placement at a solicitor: work experience at a funeral director. He wants to be a coroner and had read that one route to be a coroner is being a solicitor first.

Good luck to him. Nothing wrong in having a carefully planned career path. Often young people do not know what they want to do. Students set their sights high and why not?

If you then look at the applications from older students who have done degrees or graduate conversion courses they usually have followed the standard arts education. Some have done criminology, sociology or psychology thinking that they would be useful subjects. Only a few follow maths or science courses, which would be useful for a legal career. I wonder what advice is given to young people about the choice of their studies? 

The young man who wants to be a coroner has an interest in dissecting insects. An unusual choice, but it includes problem-solving and attention to detail. He will go far!

David Pickup is a partner at Aylesbury-based Pickup & Scott