Chrissie Wolfe moved to Birmingham for university, fell in love with the city, and couldn’t bring herself to leave. After “wiggling” her way into a post-graduate program in law, Chrissie began her YouTube channel, Law and Broader, to mentor and support other people trying to get into the profession.
Co-founders of Electric House, Lee and Adam interviewed Chrissie for episode 9 of the 0121 podcast, which tells the stories of the Midlands’ most exciting entrepreneurs and influencers.
Prior to launching Law and Broader, Chrissie participated in face-to-face mentoring, which she enjoyed. Wanting to take on more mentees, Chrissie began uploading educational videos to YouTube.
Read on to find out more about how to use social media to mentor, which platforms are the best for publishing educational content, and how to tackle adversity.
Chrissie explains that she doesn’t fit the usual mold of someone who received flawless grades at school and had a simple route into the legal profession, calling her journey “convoluted” and a “late-in-life decision”.
After receiving “spectacularly bad” A-level results, Chrissie became disappointed at the thought of repeating a year to improve her results.
“I had to find a different way into university, which I did by doing an access course. I enjoyed the course since it was in an environment other than school. But it wasn’t publicised; I had to work really hard to find a way in.”
The most highly viewed video on the Law and Broader YouTube channel is one in which Chrissie explains how her disappointing A-level results didn’t stop her from pursuing a career in law:
“I wanted to help other people who are in that situation and prove that it can be done.”
Chrissie’s friend, who was fairly active on YouTube, convinced Chrissie to take the leap and publish her content on social media. While initially apprehensive, Chrissie soon recognised the appeal of using social media to increase the accessibility of her mentoring.
“The whole point of YouTube is that it’s free, and I wanted to reach those who didn’t have the same opportunities or didn’t go to red-brick universities; virtually everybody has an internet connection.”
When discussing the slow increases in diversity and accessibility, Chrissie mentions that the legal profession is still very male-dominated.
“Women have only been practicing law for about a hundred years… It’s not just about recruiting people, it’s about nurturing people on their way to the top. This means you need to create inclusive atmospheres in your offices; this is often overlooked.”
In addition, Chrissie says that she soon recognised she was not the stereotypical image of a lawyer after beginning her training contract. She says it has taken her a while to embrace that, rather than change it.
“Having a different back story can definitely make you a bit more resilient and develop characteristics that those who have had an easier route in don’t seem to have.”
Chrissie began Law and Broader before YouTube was commonly being used for educational purposes. In addition, there was hardly any legal content on the platform to emulate.
“It was super slow going at the beginning… I only had a trickle of views. One troll said, ‘this video only has 20 views. This is a step away from talking to yourself.’
It takes a long time to shoot a ten-minute video, so when it’s only getting a handful of views, it’s tough.”
Chrissie admitted that she understood that Law mentoring was a niche area and that it wasn’t going to take off overnight. Then, an article on Legal Cheek was published about Law and Broader, and Chrissie’s following began to grow.
“It took a lot of time, but it was all worthwhile. Now, we’re at nearly 8000 subscribers on YouTube, which I had never expected for this super niche area. If it’s helping that many people, it’s amazing.”
Although Law and Broader began as a YouTube channel, Chrissie didn’t hesitate to spread her educational content to other platforms.
“I had always had an Instagram page, which took a long time to morph into educational content. Once more professional brands began using the platform, that’s when I began to repurpose my content.”
At the beginning of lockdown, Chrissie began a ‘live lounge’ series on Instagram where she interviews figures from different sections of law.
“Anything online has taken off since lockdown. I have enjoyed talking to people about their careers and learning from them.”
In addition, Law and Broader’s highest social following is on TikTok, with over 22 000 followers. TikTok’s Learn On TikTok campaign sets the perfect environment for Chrissie’s educational social content.
With campaigns like #learnontiktok bringing such channels into the forefront of our attention, it’s clear to see that social media is a blossoming platform for educational content.
Using your struggles and stories of overcoming adversity as a base for mentoring can produce powerful and valuable educational content.
When you consider the appeal of accessibility, there is no end to the niche topics in which you can achieve high levels of engagement on social media.
All quotes from Chrissie have been taken and edited from episode 9 of the 0121 podcast.