Associate | Dentons
- Secured TC post LPC
- First generation to go to university and first generation lawyer
- Low income family
I am an Associate in the Construction team at Dentons, having trained with an international law firm and qualifying in 2016.
My route into a commercial law firm was not traditional by any means; it took four years from graduating university to commencing a training contract. I graduated from the University of Birmingham, where I completed an undergraduate degree in Law and Masters degree in International Commercial Law. My intention was to pursue a route to become a barrister, however, this intention was based on very limited knowledge, both of the route to becoming a barrister and of commercial law firms. I had no connections with anyone in the legal field and my exposure of law firms had only been with local high street practices.
After university, I was offered a role with a global recruitment company. This position was essentially a “stop gap” which allowed me to decide if I really wanted to study the LPC and become a solicitor. What I hadn’t appreciated at the time was how valuable this role (and any form of commercial experience) was in terms of equipping me with business acumen, professionalism and confidence, as well as a huge range of transferable skills that subsequently contributed to successful applications.
When it came to studying the LPC (self-funded), I still had not secured a training contract. Although it appeared that the odds were stacked against me in a highly competitive industry, I persevered and obtained as much legal work experience as I could. It was a year after I had completed the LPC, whilst working as a paralegal, that I secured my training contract to commence the same year.
Coming from a single-parent family with a working class background, and from an area where university, let alone a legal career, was not a typical route for most, pursuing a career in the legal profession has not been an easy journey. As such, you could say that I fit into a number of the traditionally under-represented groups in the legal profession. I am all too familiar with the qualms and anxieties that those from similar backgrounds may have about entering the legal profession. I can most definitely relate to the seemingly endless barriers and hurdles you are faced with when applying for training contracts. I hope that my experience demonstrates that a career in law is not unattainable and broader skills, as well as academic excellence, are valued.
I strongly believe that diversity is key to a dynamic and evolving profession. It is so important for those who are established in the legal profession to do what they can to make the profession accessible to people with the right skills. A career in the legal profession should be based on drive and determination, and not ethnicity and background. I am happy to share my knowledge and experience as an ambassador and would be happy for anyone to contact me for advice pertaining to a career in a commercial law firm.