Twenty-year-old Salman Kotwal transferred to the University of Salford at the beginning of the second year of a law degree. He’d heard about the unique way Salford Law at Salford Business School delivers its law courses, with a focus on real-world business acumen alongside the legal aspects of a qualifying law degree.
“We live in a world where every student must make themselves different,” says Salman. “I knew that the University of Salford was providing opportunities to facilitate my development as a prospective lawyer.”
When Salman arrived at the university, he took full advantage of the opportunities on offer, enrolling in extra-curricular classes and workshops. He also signed up for the Salford Advantage.
“The Salford Advantage programme was a huge help; it’s a structured way of gaining work experience with a recognised certificate at the end of it. To complete it, you had to clock in 55 hours of work experience in a year. I was lucky enough to clock in over 300 hours within four different legal establishments.”
Although Salman cites luck as having a part to play in the opportunities he was given, his ambition wasn’t going unnoticed. After being made aware of a trip to China, funded by the university’s partnership with Santander, Salman successfully applied for the scholarship and was given a position with leading law firm Globe-Law. He was tasked with gathering information about how trade links with China could provide opportunities for SMEs in Salford.
“As well as the research, I did a variety of work for Globe-Law,” says Salman. “I proofread contractual documents for grammar, translating them into the correct formats for English speaking clients, attended office meetings with senior partners and was even sent to meet clients across Beijing.
“My biggest achievement was to help create the 2014 China Intellectual Property Index Report, which compares the comprehensive strength of intellectual property against economic growth in the major 16 cities in China which published on the World Intellectual Property Organisation website.”
You can see Salman’s report here: http://www.wipo.int/wipolex/en/details.jsp?id=15371
Although modest about his impressive achievements, Salman is more than aware of the value of his international activities. “They’ve helped me a lot,” he acknowledges. “I’ve had a few interviews for work placements and this has been my strongest asset. When firms see I went to China and tackled home sickness, food barriers and language barriers, I think this really helps me to stand out.”
“For me personally, I knew the internship in China would necessitate me to step out of my comfort zone and help me realise what I am capable of and what I can accomplish. I understood that it was going to be daunting at first, but I also knew it would make me realise my true abilities and potential, helping me to become more confident. The experience has allowed me to mature personally and has assisted me in reaching my target of self-independence and self-reliance.”
Salman has since received a work placement offer from a UK-based law firm which has strong relations with Globe-Law, and already has more international experience lined up. He’s received an offer of an internship with German corporate law firm Lindenpartners, and will spend two weeks in their Berlin offices over the summer.
“I’m also in touch with my supervisor in China quite often and he’s sent me details of his contacts based around the world. I love exploring and indulging myself into different cultures. It’s challenging, yet exciting at the same time.”
As well as his international achievements, Salman has received two very prestigious legal placements closer to home, after winning a hotly-contested essay competition.
“The prize is a two-part placement, first with global law firm Squire Patton Boggs, based in Manchester, and then with ITV’s in-house legal team in London. I’m very proud to win such a prestigious competition.”
Although he hasn’t yet finished his degree, Salman already has offers to study the Legal Practice Course at both BPP and the University of Law, which he intends to combine with a Masters degree in Business.
“The best thing about the law degree at the University of Salford is the business aspect,” says Salman. “How many students can say they are graduating with a law degree from the Business School of the Year? The way they teach and assess is unique; Salford does much more for its students.”
When he’s not taking the legal world by storm, Salman can be found letting off steam on the football field. “I’m one of the founders of the Salford Law Society team,” he says.
“We regularly play against teams from across the university: it’s a great way of having a good time with your friends and fellow students, while being able to wind down after a tough week of studying.”