How my history with Cambridge led to a life in law – Sarah Moore
Since studying history at Cambridge, Sarah Moore’s (King’s 1996) passion for fairness and equality for all, has led her to become an associate solicitor for one of the top human rights firms in the country.
Studying history before law tends to make lawyers good at assimilating information, weighing up arguments with a sceptical eye and presenting our own narrative.
The most prominent memories I have of my years at Cambridge revolve around rowing on the River Cam most early mornings, late nights spent engaged in a variety of extracurricular pursuits and, of course, the unique supervision system that operated for history undergraduates during my time at King’s.
These memories are the foundation of my Cambridge experience and ultimately, they have proven crucial to both my personal and professional development to date.
One of my favourite experiences during university years was working as a barmaid in King’s College for the whole three years I studied there. I remember, like it was yesterday, Zadie Smith (of White Teeth and other literary fame) standing on a table and singing live jazz.
At the time, I was oblivious to the impact these three years at Cambridge would have, particularly on my career.
The jump from studying history to following a career path in law was already a well-worn track – history involves interrogating facts and looking at versions of the truth, and law involves the same skill set. Studying history before law tends to make lawyers good at assimilating information, weighing up arguments with a sceptical eye and presenting our own narrative.
My first step into law was taken when I was offered the opportunity to train as a solicitor with the multinational law firm, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, based in both Paris and London. Shortly after my qualification, I left the city to work at the pioneering group action firm, Leigh Day. As a firm that prides itself on representing the Davids against the Goliaths, I knew it was the right opportunity for me to cultivate the principles of fairness and equality that had been nurtured during my time at King’s.
Since joining the Leigh Day team, I have done just that – often in the form of fighting for individuals against some of the biggest global corporations. For over a decade now, I have specialised in researching the generic aspects of ground-breaking legal cases against organisations whose actions have damaged the lives and/or livelihoods of foreign nationals.
The common elements that link these claims are the complexity of the jurisdictional, evidential and logistical issues involved. I am constantly applying my training at Cambridge to synthesise materials from bioengineers, toxicologists and various other clinicians, in order to bridge the distance between legal argument and expert evidence.
Of all the strengths and skills I picked up during my time at Cambridge, as a solicitor and mother of three girls, it goes without saying that the stamina I developed through freezing mornings rowing on the Cam has perhaps been the most useful.
To contact Sarah or read more about the cases she has worked on please visit her profile.
Sarah Moore studied History and attended King’s College.
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This article has been written by Sarah and the opinions expressed are those of the author.