Alex Passman

What are you doing now?

I am a barrister, running my own employment consultancy as well as lecturing in employment law at Plymouth University. I will soon be moving the Kings Bench Godolphin Chambers in Plymouth to vary my practise.

What route did you take up to this point?

Unfortunately, I left school with no A levels so, after working in bars and on building sites for a few years, I decided to take an access course to get me onto a law degree. Having graduated I studied for the Bar in London. I now work mainly in the South West and London.

Any significant crossroads?

Yes, realising that working in bars was a waste of my time and potential. Please don’t do what I did!

Significant decisions?

Yes, the process of going back to study, having not done so for four to five years was a big one and not one I would recommend. I would advise anyone to concentrate first time around as it is hard to work and study at the same time. Moving to London to study was a difficult decision as I had a young family. However the rewards were worth the initial sacrifice.

What is good about your career?

The variety of work and the income are the obvious examples. There are not many others ways I could make this living whilst staying in the region. The variety of work ensures that I am always out of the office seeing clients, attending courts and negotiating. It can be quite exciting, whilst being hard to juggle commitments at times.

It is always nice when you win a long running case; even today it gives a rush of adrenaline when the Judge makes a judgment in your favour.

Your most challenging year at DHSB?

My last year was the most challenging, the stress of not achieving what I should due to my own failure to put adequate work into my A levels. It is a tough time and you have to be resilient and work hard. Believe me, the rewards can be worth it.

Any advice for current students?

It is a cliche that you will hear over and over but take it from me, you need to work hard. Whether you are naturally gifted or not, there is a pool of talented people from all over the world who are in competition for the job or career that you want.

When I recently visited the school, I was blown away by the intelligence and sophistication of the responses given. If you want to fulfil your potential take every opportunity to develop your CV with as much work experience as you can to set yourself aside from your competition.

Any words of wisdom?

If you do not know what you want to do, do not panic. You are a capable student or you would not be where you are. You may just need a little time to find yourself, what you want to do for a career. However, do not use that as an excuse, try hard and you will succeed.