From a young age I knew that I wanted to make the world better. With maturity, came practical realities. Though I was privileged (born into a great home and country at a time when there was a degree of equality of opportunity) I still needed to justify my university education by earning money in a ‘real job’. And if my youthful idealism was to stay alive, I needed a degree that would help me serve that greater purpose.
I wasn’t sure whether I’d enjoy a law degree. I didn’t know any lawyers and there was no law A-level to test the water. I did a joint honours (LLB Law and German) at Bristol in case pure law wasn’t for me. But it was right up my street – so many interesting things rolled into one: words, logic, philosophy, sociology, ethics, politics, business and real-life stories.
I did a vacation placement at a City firm in my second year. It was fantastic and opened my eyes to the opportunities. I applied to firms which sponsored their trainees through law school and was lucky enough to get a place at the firm I wanted.
Despite my training contract, each career junction felt huge and scary in those early days. As a junior lawyer, there are points where you can’t see your future path with any certainty. Will I be good enough? Will I get a job after my training contract? It can feel like you’re waiting on the cliff edge of your career for someone to throw you a bridge. But that feeling diminishes with age and experience. Now I’d probably be brave enough to jump off the cliff, trusting that a bridge would (somehow) appear. I only feel like that because of the opportunities and experiences I’ve had.
Throughout my career I’ve had memorable moments – from being a small cog in an international environmental arbitration in The Hague while at Freshfields, to a day seeking a warrant to access a foul drain, followed by a dog fouling prosecution while working in-house at a council.
While law has always been […]