Shana Ting Lipton
Subject of study: Graduate Diploma in Law
Year of graduation: 2014
Current position: Journalist and Branded Content Producer, various employers including CNN, British Journal of Photography, Delta Airlines Sky magazine, etc
What are you doing now?
After incorporating legal/business writing into my work (I completed the Legal Practice Course in 2016 with Distinction and the GDL in 2014 with Commendation), an opportunity to work with CNN’s international brand studio came up. So I now mostly work on corporate branded content for them, while continuing to write for consumer publications in the travel, lifestyle and business arenas.
What did you find most valuable about your course at Westminster? How did the skills you learnt during your degree help you to shape your career?
I enjoyed the interaction and synergy with the tutors, who made themselves readily available as well as the 'additional area' essay, which gave me some room to explore what would become one of my LPC electives (privacy/media law) and shape the direction of my career.
What was the best thing about being a student in London?
London is a brilliant springboard for exploration of other cities – a cosmopolitan city 'in the thick of things.' It can as such fill the impossible role of being all things to all people. Each neighborhood is like a compact town or mini-city complete with individual style and character.
What extra-curricular activities did you participate in that enhanced your time at the University?
I did some work experience at London law firms specialising in media law (my area of interest and expertise from having been a journalist). This is key, I believe, in helping one decide which direction one wants to go in in one's law career (in-house, law firm, legal journalist, boutique firm, multinational, etc).
What advice would you give to someone thinking for pursuing a similar career?
Don't listen to nay-sayers who may tell you ‘it’s too late,’ ‘the law doesn’t seem like something you’d be interested in,’ or ‘law school is an impossibly hard, long road.’ I’ve heard it all, but thankfully tuned it all out. Law is at the heart of everything in our world – from the personal to the professional and commercial. You may end up being a solicitor, working at a firm or in house, or you may end up using your valuable legal skills elsewhere. But you will use those skills, that’s for certain. A law degree will always give you a leg up in life, no matter what job you end up in – because, as I underscore, there’s nothing not impacted by statutes, regulations, conventions, etc. Be it a creative career as a photographer, a job in corporate finance, or starting your own online business.
Why would you recommend Westminster as a place to study?
Accessible tutors. Convenient evening courses in a central location with access to several libraries/buildings throughout London. Very reasonable cost.
Is there anything else you would like to tell us?
As a long-time journalist who had always been intrigued by the law, I set out to obtain my legal degrees mid career because I thought it would augment my skills in the media realm and also offer me an alternative to journalism – should I choose to pursue it. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Understanding the nuances of the law has changed my life for the better, positively altered the way I think, and opened up new avenues in my career – although not at present directly in the legal field.