Even as a young child growing up in Crewe, Cheshire, Lewis Gaut had a clear ambition. Whilst his friends were dreaming of being footballers, Lewis knew he wanted to be a lawyer.
He attended the state-funded Brine Leas High School in Nantwich before going on to study A Levels in law, business studies, history, biology and general studies at South Cheshire College in Crewe.
A talented and enthusiastic student, Lewis’s academic work impressed his tutors and his tutors expected him to get three A’s . Armed with those predictions, he wasted no time in looking for university undergraduate law courses.
“After doing some research I picked Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester to put on my UCAS application,” Lewis said. “They all had really impressive reputations, great courses and had the added bonus of not being too far from home.”
Lewis learned that as part of his application, he would need to sit the LNAT. He said:“The LNAT was relatively new when I was applying to university so it was a bit of a surprise at first.
“When I looked at the website and practice tests I found that it didn’t contain anything about law, which seemed really strange. However, after doing a few practice tests I started to get the hang of critical reasoning, which was more of a practical assessment, and realised that if I was good at the LNAT, I would probably be good at practising law as opposed to just studying it..”
Lewis sat the LNAT at the test centre in nearby Stoke on Trent and found the experience completely different to sitting a standard academic exam.
“For a start, it was quite strange to sit a test using a computer rather than having to handwrite the answers,” he said. “I also found it unusual for the test to have no academic base, it was much more focussed on interpretation.
“There’s such a high percentage of people who get A grades at A Level, so when I discovered, a few weeks later, I had an above average LNAT score, I felt that meant I had something to distinguish myself from other aspiring lawyers”
After receiving confirmation of his A Level results, Lewis was awarded a place to study law at the University of Birmingham.
Lewis graduated with an impressive 1st Class Law Degree and is currently a trainee at DLA Piper in their Corporate Department in Birmingham.
“I am thoroughly enjoying it here and have aspirations of making partner at DLA Piper one day.”
“Looking back, I realise how relevant the LNAT is to what I do now. The multiple choice section encourages you to paraphrase text and translate complex technical sentences into layman’s terms, which is a key skill for any lawyer.”
“The questions also encourage you to look at a passage of text and ascertain the writer’s viewpoint. Again this is very useful for any lawyer involved in contract drafting or negotiation.”
“Rather than being a law test, like a standard A Level, the LNAT is a more practical ‘lawyer test’ which helps you to ascertain whether you’ve got what it takes to practise, as well as study, law.”