Isaac Orr: a lawyer in the making.

After resitting his A-Levels due to disappointing results, 19-year-old Isaac Orr thrives at the University of Sheffield whilst studying to complete a degree in Law. This new lease of life that has came with the big move also has a few struggles that have come along with this. Hopefully, in the near future Isaac will be a member of a top Law Firm and protesting for Human Right cases.

Isaac Orr at the Law student Christmas Ball.

What has been the biggest hurdle you have had since moving to university in Sheffield from a small town like Nantwich?

I would say the biggest hurdle I have struggled with is being thrown into somewhere that you have never really been or experienced, I had only actually been to Sheffield once before. I had no clue where I was and it is very disorientating at first not knowing where you are and having a completely new structure to your day and having to be completely dependent on yourself and having to deal with your own responsibilities… and having no friends at first.

How have you coped with the transition from a-levels to university life?

I would say it’s not that bad because A-Levels are very dependent on if you want to be successful you have to work for yourself and be self-motivated. I find that my degree especially is less stressful in certain spells and that it is only really exam season that it gets worse and I have to ensure that I remain self-motivated in term time even when I don’t have exams so I stay on top of my weekly reading because it mounts up and I guess in that respect it has been quite different but other than that I don’t think it has been that much of a struggle.

At this current moment in time, what is your biggest career aspiration?

My biggest career aspiration is hopefully to become a trainee solicitor at one of the top law firms in the country, hopefully a ‘Magic Circle’ firm. That entails that I need to complete my degree and my training contract which would then allow me to become a lawyer by training for my LPC (Legal Practice Course) and securing a job.

What is a ‘Magic Circle’ firm?

Oh, the ‘Magic Circle’ is a group of the top law firms in the country. So, they deal with international clients – basically just the biggest ones with the best jobs to be honest.

Have you had any recent struggles in uni life like exams, dissertations etc, and if so how have you dealt with them?

Yeah, the main struggle that I have had at the moment is the sheer scale of coursework that I have had which was certainly a step up from A-Level. I think with A-Levels you can kind of afford to just sit down and write an essay and it’s done, but with degree essays there is a lot of prep that goes into them and I think that I underestimated that it is quite a large process to write up a piece of assessed work, there is research, cutting words out and proof reading that you can’t rush. So that was certainly an obstacle that I will overcome one way or another and if it goes well then great, and if not I’ll learn my lesson!

Isaac Orr with a few of the fellow Law students at the University of Sheffield.

What would your average day include of?

If I have to wake up at 9am I like to shower before, sort my work out, get dressed, walk down to uni. If I have a seminar I will have hopefully have done the prep the night before so that will be sorted on my laptop before I get there, they usually last 2 hours – half of it is group work and the other half is just reporting back on essays and asking questions. If I have lectures there will probably be two or three inn a day, some are an hour, some are two hours so I have to go to those. I usually get back after my day at university between 3 or 6 and on a normal day if I’m not going out I will try and annoy my flatmates.

What has been the best thing to happen to you since moving to university?

Making lots of friends, meeting new people and through that enjoying the new experiences that have came with this new life that I am living now.

Do you have any tips and tricks for new uni students coming up in September?

Save before you go to uni! When your parents tell you not to spend all of your money in the Summer before you need it because you think that your loan will cover it, the chances are that they probably won’t. So I would say have some money saved and that’s not just for living and going out but more for when things come up along the way like if you want to book a festival and stuff like that which is a lot of money in one go. But, also make sure you try to be more open-minded and say yes to as many things as possible because you don’t want to regret something and miss out!

What are your next steps to reach your goal?

My short-term steps are to apply to internships for the Spring internship period, which will help me put my foot in the door and meet new people in the firms to build links and contacts. In the long-term the main things that I have got to do are complete my degree and do well, I am aiming for a 2:1 or a 1st hopefully. But, the little things that I work towards now will lay the groundwork for my career.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

In 10 years I will be 30, oh my gosh. I hope by then I will have kickstarted my career, the career in law is quite long and you can’t really start at the top, so I will be trying to work my way up. I at least hope that if I am not where I want to be, human rights law, commercial law, etc. I will at least be in a step in the right direction and possibly complete my Masters and LPC. I hope to have a job in law in the sorts in the legal field, in a firm or not.


Isaac Orr can be found here:


About the Author

Morgan Fotheringham
Student journalist as London South Bank University.