Associate | Penningtons Manches Cooper
- First generation lawyer
- Low-income family
- State school educated
I am currently an Associate in the Employment team at Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP. I qualified with the firm (2019) after securing my training contract with them during my penultimate year at University (2015).
I graduated with a Law degree from the University of Southampton and studied the LPC at BPP University in Holborn (2016-17). I attended state schools and am the first in my family to go to university. I worked part-time through my A-Levels, my degree and the LPC, which was tiring and stressful, but allowed me to keep a competitive edge and support myself.
As I come from a low-income family with no professional connections, one of the hardest parts of pursuing a career in law was to obtain work experience and to know to whom I should turn for advice. Knowing that I needed tailored guidance in order to embark on a professional career, during my A-Levels I applied and was selected to be a participant in the Sutton Trust’s Pathways to Law and then subsequently Pathways Plus programme. Through these schemes, I gained work experience at a variety of different firms, from Magic Circle to regional. All of this hard work paid off when, in my penultimate year of University, I attended three training contract interviews and was offered all three. I am conscious that without this programme I undoubtedly would have struggled to break into the legal profession.
I believe the biggest barrier to diversity in the legal world is the perception that it is an elite profession when, actually, diversity is a strength and there is no reason why anyone should be anything but themselves. Being a first generation lawyer, I am committed to Aspiring Solicitors as I know first-hand how difficult, frustrating and lonely it can be trying to navigate unknown territory.