As we arrived at Cambridge station, the clouds lifted and the sun burst forth joyously. Driving into the city centre, the spires slumbered in the afternoon sun. Everyone and everything was drenched in a champagne stupor: it was May week, when for seven days, student life in Cambridge becomes nocturnal, and tottering home in full white tie, in broad daylight, becomes not only acceptable, but perfectly normal.
For the Vardags team though, this was but a flying visit. We were there for the Queens’ Bench Law Society garden party, at Queens College, Cambridge, Ayesha’s alma mater. The purpose? To tell the students about our graduate training programme. Instead of slogging through endless lectures, then to spend another two years staggering from one soulless corporate deal to another, our programme allows graduates to learn on the job. At Vardags, we learn on the job, and can study part-time whilst gaining invaluable experience on the front-line of family law: one day learning the law; the next changing it.
Sampling treats at the QBLS garden party Photo by Alex Shuttleworth Photography
Despite having variously attended John’s, Christ’s and Caius May balls the previous night, the law students at Queens’ gave us a fantastic reception, with afternoon tea and Pimms in the beautiful setting of the Erasmus lawn. They ranged from first years still grappling with the fundamental principles of the core subjects, through to those in postgraduate study, specialising in fascinatingly niche areas of the law. We had lively discussions on everything from asset tracing to Brexit to student life in Cambridge, and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
Newly qualified solicitors Antonia and Natasha
Photo by Alex Shuttleworth Photography
The four newly-qualified lawyers among us spent plenty of time, of course, extolling the virtues of the Vardags graduate training programme. We very much hope that some of those we met will eventually join us, and enjoy the benefits of being able to study whilst working on some of the country’s biggest family law cases.
After the garden party, there was time for a quick viewing of the new Vardags Cambridge office. We were all charmed by the new office, which sits at the very heart of the city, overlooking the Senate house, St Mary’s church and King’s College, from its stately position off King’s Parade and the Market Square. As we made our way back to the train station at sunset, students were beginning to queue up for Pembroke and Catz May balls. Not without a pang of envy, we returned to the big smoke.
To view more photographs from the event, or learn more about QBLS, visit their Facebook page.