Aspiring Lawyer Miniseries – Trainee Solicitor at CMS – Idin Sabahipour

In our latest episode of the Aspiring Lawyer Miniseries on the Legally Speaking Podcast, powered by KC Partners, our Head KC Ambassador Harrison Wilde is joined by Idin Sabahipour.

Idin began his Training Contract with CMS in August 2020. He graduated from the University of Nottingham in 2017 and later studied his LPC and MSc in Law, Business and Management which he completed in 2020.

In 2016, Idin Founded his platform LittleLaw which is designed to help aspiring lawyers battle commercial unawareness. LittleLaw has grown rapidly since then amassing over 8,000 followers on LinkedIn and nearly 6,000 on Instagram.

Idin has an active online presence within the legal community and has recently created his own platform on Instagram and YouTube. He regularly makes videos focusing on important topics including firm research and law firm applications with the aim of helping aspiring lawyers secure a Training Contract. 


[0:00:00.0] Harry Wilde: Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s episode of the Legally Speaking Podcast miniseries powered by Kissoon Carr. My name is Harry, head ambassador for Kissoon Carr and host for today’s episode. Today I’m delighted to be joined by our guest feature, Trainee Solicitor at CMS, Idin Sabahipour. Idin studied his LLB at the University of Nottingham and later moved on to his LPC and master’s in law, business and management at University of Law. He was offered a training contract with CMS in 2019 and started his training contract last month. Hi Idin, thank you ever so much for joining us on today’s episode.

[0:00:32.7] Idin Sabahipour: Hi Harry, thanks for having me. It’s a real pleasure to be on.

[0:00:35.8] Harry Wilde: No worries at all. I wanted to start by asking you about your legal career so far and your achievements to date. So, you founded your platform Little Law in 2016 and have seen much success throughout. Could you tell us a little bit more about your motivations for starting it?

[0:00:50.1] Idin Sabahipour: Sure, so my motivation for starting Little Law is quite simple really. It was born out of identifying a problem and it was problem that I was suffering from myself and a lot of law students are suffering from. And that is just having a challenge with understanding commercial awareness, I wasn’t really sure what it was, didn’t really know what it meant, how to get there, anything like that.

And me and my friend would ask at recruitment events with law firms about how to develop commercial awareness because we knew how important that was and they tell us about reading the news resources and BBC business, FT, following the news and the sort of thing that you typically hear as advice for that. But I felt that there needed to be some other type of content. Something that was more related to law that could help out in this sphere more influentially.

What I did to start off actually was not anything to do with Little Law, what I started to do was just – for my own purposes – write summaries of news articles I’d read. So, I’d go to BBC business, I’d go to FT economist, anything, and I’d write a short summary of each news article I’d read, and I’d make sure to include a section at that end that was titled ‘Why would law firms care?’ or ‘What’s the big picture impact?’

And that’s the bit that I think forced me to develop my commercial awareness. So it came from writing these summaries just to develop my own commercial awareness. And a few of my friends saw them and thought they were cool, so I stuck a few of these summaries up on a website and promoted them through my university’s law society, and I was at Nottingham at the time so, Nottingham law society helped me promote that and basically shared amongst their followers and eventually, one thing led to another and we got the growth that we got and now it’s grown into a platform of around 20,000 people who follow it.

[0:02:34.2] Harry Wilde: Absolutely. And you’ve recently started a YouTube channel providing advice to those aspiring lawyers to get training contracts. What has been your biggest challenge with regards to this and your platform Little Law and how did you overcome it?

[0:02:47.1] Idin Sabahipour: For both of these, there was a steep learning curve. I didn’t really know anything about either of them before starting. While they’re both law related, both Little Law writing about news and the legal implications, it’s essentially a media company or a news site. So, again I have no experience in that. The YouTube thing is again video content, and you have to learn about storytelling and recording audio and video and lighting and editing and all this stuff that I had no idea about.

But I really loved learning all that stuff across both the projects. The biggest challenge was just that the learning curves, it was a really steep learning curve and there’s loads of things that you need to be sharp on and have an understanding of during it. But I think, I’ve enjoyed doing it. One benefit I have with Little Law which I don’t have with YouTube video is the fact that we have a team now that helps us.

So, we have editors on board, we have people running the social media, we have obviously the contributors and the reporters as well. So, that is a massive help when it comes to Little Law. So, a lot of the work is done by the team which is pretty good, and the team hopefully will be growing a bit this week, recruiting a few more reporters as well. So, to answer your questions, the biggest challenge is just the initial learning curve of both of these things. But it’s been really rewarding especially with Little Law because we have the whole team. We work together on that.

[0:04:05.7] Harry Wilde: Of course, and it’s great that you have that backing behind such a great platform. What advice would you give to anyone looking to get into commercial law?

[0:04:13.4] Idin Sabahipour: In terms of advice I’d give for people looking to get into commercial law, I’d say one piece of advice is that you’re going to get rejections. It’s almost inevitable that you’ll get rejections. And very, very few people who I know and a few of them actually, maybe like one or two didn’t get any rejections and got TC off straight out of Uni but very few people got no rejections at all. And I think one piece of advice I would say is to change your outlook on rejections.

So, the rejections could come for a bunch of reasons, it could be because you need to develop in a few areas, it might be because there’s just insane competition and there are good candidates and able candidates who don’t make the cut. Or it could just be luck, to be honest. I think that luck plays a big factor in the application process for training contracts. There are so many things, so many variables out of your hand, you could just have a bad day. So, changing your outlook on rejection, I think is important, and there’s two ways I think you could do that.

One, I think the best way is to use each rejection as a learning opportunity. So, when I look at the applications I sent in my second year of Uni which was my first cycle of applications. I got a bunch of rejections and at the time I had a real challenge in accepting these as areas I could improve, I thought they were just failures and I was – didn’t really want to look at the rejection email or contact the firm for feedback.

But in hindsight, looking back at those applications, there were areas I could have clearly improved on. So, getting to that point earlier would have been really beneficial for me. So, that’s the first way. Treat each rejection as a learning opportunity where possible. And the second way I think is just to reframe a rejection as just another twist in the story of your life. So, it’s just something that will add a bit of flavor to the ultimate story which hopefully will be a happy ending with you achieving the goal that you set out to achieve.

So, those are the two ways I’d say you should reframe rejection in your head, to change it from a negative thing into a positive thing.

[0:06:08.7] Harry Wilde: Of course. Both brilliant tips. I wanted to conclude by asking you something I like to ask all of our guests. What changes do you think need to be made within the legal profession to make a career in law more accessible to everybody?

[0:06:19.8] Idin Sabahipour: That’s a really good question, and I think it’s a really important one as well. The accessibility of a career in law has been something that – there’s been a lot written about it. There have been challenges there and hurdles for years and years and years. I think one change that needs to be made and to be honest, I think to an extent we’re shifting in that direction, is openness within the legal community, where people are willing to help out those trying to get into the career and talk about their experiences.

And I think it’s immensely valuable being able to speak to people who are on the path that you want to go down. I think it’s really useful to be able to get their insight and develop a network with someone who is as I said a few steps ahead of you and to an extent, I think this is starting to happen. You see organizations, they’re putting out good content, getting in touch with lawyers, like yourself, both you and Kissoon Carr.

You see organizations as mentoring which is a more of a structured relationship and the aspiring solicitors have good mentoring program. GROW MENTORING as well, is another one that I’m a part of, and I have a mentee through that. So, you do see a bit of this happening where there are few organizations that are trying to develop this sort of relationships. Even during lockdown I saw a lot of people, a few of my friends as well, just on their LinkedIn saying, “I’ve got some spare time if anyone wants me to review apps or we just chat to you about how I got into law”. These sorts of attitudes are going to be influential in increasing the accessibility of the career in law.

[0:07:52.4] Harry Wilde: Absolutely. I want to say a huge thank you to our guest feature Idin. It’s been a real pleasure having you on and great to hear your insights alongside the many things that you’ve learnt throughout your legal journey. I wish you all the best for the future, and good luck for the rest of your training contract.

[0:08:05.0] Idin Sabahipour: Thanks Harry. Thanks for having me.

[0:08:06.6] Harry Wilde: No worries at all. Thank you all very much for tuning into today’s episode. I hope that you’ve enjoyed listening.

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