Working in Cambridge
Despite its relatively high cost of living, Cambridge has repeatedly ranked highly in Glassdoor’s list of the best UK cities to work in. Ranking first in 2016 and third in 2018, this city has some of the best hiring opportunities and overall work satisfaction in the UK—and this is also true of the legal sector specifically.
With its booming tech industry—the region has earned the name Silicon Fen, after all—Cambridge has long been recognised as a site of innovation. The likes of Apple, Sony, Microsoft and Spotify have all taken up residence in this city, and the prominence of these businesses means that many law firms in the area currently cater to tech companies and start-ups. So if you’re interested in working with big players in the tech sector, look no further! If not, Cambridge has a lot more to offer too, with firms specialising in diverse areas from criminal to family law.
Due to both its proximity to London and its expanding economy, many large City firms have set up alternative offices in Cambridge. Working in such an office will give you the opportunity to experience a full-service firm while still enjoying the greater collegiality that a small or medium-sized office can offer. You’re also likely to find plenty of opportunities to work internationally.
You could also find yourself working at a small regional firm and specialising in a specific area such as property law. In a regional Cambridge firm, you’re likely to have both a better work-life balance and more individualised training.
Upon moving to Cambridge, you could join the Cambridgeshire Junior Lawyers Division to meet like-minded students or lawyers. The organisation is open to everyone from students to NQs, and it runs all sorts of fun social activities and networking events.
Presided over by the university’s colleges and impressive medieval architecture, there are few places you can go to in Cambridge and not bump into relics of the city’s past. The university grounds are a great chance to absorb the Cambridge’s culture, but so are the city’s many museums. You’ll be able to see all sorts of antiquities and artworks at the Fitzwilliam Museum or learn about two million years of human history at the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. For a significantly more modern collection, you could visit the Centre for Computing History and learn about how Cambridge came to be the big tech hub that it is today.
Some of the best comedians in the UK—including Stephen Fry and Jimmy Carr—attended the University of Cambridge, so it’s no surprise that Cambridge still has a thriving comedy scene. The yearly Cambridge Comedy Festival hosts both well-known and rising comedians, while the Cambridge Junction is a hub for some of the world’s finest comedians year-round.
There are also plenty of places to enjoy music, theatre and comedy in Cambridge. The Cambridge Arts Theatre is an exciting venue, home to multiple world-class productions every year—many of which come straight from London’s West End. The multi-purpose venue The Corn Exchange offers up to 300 performances a year, ranging from famous pop and rock acts to comedy shows and operas. Besides these large venues, there are smaller informal venues to discover throughout the city.
Home to over 20,000 students, Cambridge has a vibrant nightlife to suit all tastes. On any given night, there’s something happening at one of Cambridge’s many nightclubs. Fez, one of the most popular clubs in the city, is known for giving airtime to a wide variety of musical genres each night. Lola Lo offers themed parties five nights a week, and Vinyl—which features some of the biggest DJs in the country—is also worth a visit.
If clubbing isn’t for you, there are plenty of renowned pubs in Cambridge. One of the oldest and most famous, The Eagle, offers a classic pub experience with a wide range of draught beers to choose from. The Free Press, with its newspaper-covered walls and maps revealing Cambridge’s industrial history, is the perfect space to enjoy an ale and relax. For a slightly different experience, you could visit La Raza, a Spanish-style bar serving paella and tapas alongside drinks.
Both a fun pastime and an excellent way to tour the city, punting should be one of the first activities on your checklist!
Go check out Cambridge’s botanic gardens—it’s a beautiful place to stroll through and unwind.
Spend some time outdoors and discover Cambridgeshire’s countryside; it’s stunning but also flat enough to make for a leisurely hike or cycle.
Finally, no visit to the city is complete without some time spent roaming around the University of Cambridge’s colleges. Among the most impressive are Trinity and King’s College, which boasts a massive gothic chapel.
Despite its small size, Cambridge is extremely well connected. The city is served by road and rail links, and it’s within easy distance of many major London airports (although Cambridge also has its own airport). It’s easy to get to London as well, as four trains an hour depart from Cambridge to King’s Cross and two to Liverpool Street. Peterborough and Norwich are also just a short train ride away.
The city has plenty of bus routes that serve every area. However, Cambridge has the highest level of cycling in the country, and its compact size means it’s easy to get wherever you want on a bike. Cycling is a low-cost way of getting around, and it may even be feasible for you to just walk to most places in the city. There’s no need to deal with the traffic or a packed tube in Cambridge!
Peterborough Young Lawyers Group
Membership of the Peterborough Young Lawyers Group (PYLG) is open to anyone above 18 years of age who is a law student, paralegal, legal executive, or a solicitor of up to 5 years’ experience. It holds events throughout the year, some for networking and others for fun. There is no membership fee and many events are subsidised by the Law Society. The PYLG has members from a broad range of firms- some big, others small - and connections to other networking groups within Peterborough, such as the Young Professionals.