Professional Ambassadors

Matt A

Solicitor | TLT

Profile Highlights:

  • State School Educated
  • First generation lawyer
  • Accents
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Profile:

I was state-school educated in a town in the North West of England and was the first in my family to go into the legal profession. I completed my LLB (Hons) at the University of Sheffield graduating in 2013. After graduation, I was a paralegal at Addleshaw Goddard and then a paralegal in house at Barclaycard for 18 months, prior to securing a training contract starting at TLT LLP in September 2016.

A key thing for any budding lawyer is to say yes to every opportunity and to be creative in the experiences available to you. Whilst you may not necessarily have an extensive professional network available to you, you will be surprised by the opportunities available and the transferable skills you can pick up from these opportunities which will make you stand out on a training contract application. For example whilst studying, I worked as an adviser at the Citizens Advice Bureau and in a similar role at the University of Sheffield Freelaw Legal Clinic. Whilst I heard and researched vastly different queries from transactions worked upon during my training contract, these experiences helped me demonstrate my potential to interview, research, negotiate and advise clients on my training contract applications. The key is to use any available opportunity to your advantage. For example, I also helped host two radio shows on the student radio station at the University of Sheffield. Whilst improving my presentational skills, that unique opportunity also provided me with a point of difference for my training contract applications.

What I realised during the course of my training contract is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, what accent you have or any other characteristic you feel may hinder your progression. If anything, these are what set you apart and can be used to your advantage. It is important to realise that your background is not a barrier and the drive to succeed with limited resources is the attribute which will ultimately differentiate yourself from others. I also realised what is required to access the legal profession is not always explicitly stated, and must be learned through experience and from demonstrating your drive to succeed when provided with any given opportunity. I was incredibly lucky to find real mentors who advised me throughout the process. After seeing first-hand how beneficial such advice can be, I am now eager to contribute by helping the next round of applicants achieve their goals.

If you are having difficulties at a particular stage of the process or are lacking confidence for any reason, please do get in touch and I will try to provide some useful insights that you can adopt to take you to the next level.

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