Law School Attended
Associate | Herbert Smith Freehills
- State school educated
- First generation lawyer
- Sexual orientation
I always intended to pursue a career on the stage. I was sure I would audition for drama school, move to London and spend my days reciting Shakespeare or Willy Russell to anyone that cared to listen. What actually happened was I chose Law as an A-level, which sparked an interest that had previously gone uncultivated. I found the mix of public policy and human stories so intriguing and decided (along with a firm push in that direction from my parents) to do a degree in Law first. I applied to Cambridge, all the while acting on the side, and by some miracle secured a place. From there my passion for the law grew, and I found myself applying to firms for Vacation Schemes. Three schemes later, I faced a choice between three well respected, yet different firms. I followed my heart and went with HSF.
During my vacation scheme I heard a fellow vacation schemer explain how her supervisor was helping to provide legal advice to a charity that was tackling the criminalisation of homosexuality around the world. I flagged my interest and met with the HSF team working on the project. At the time, they were assisting with a pioneering challenge to the anti-homosexuality legislation in Belize (which was subsequently successful).
Fast forward to today and I am now a trainee with HSF and a member of that inspiring team. We work alongside the Human Dignity Trust, a charity dedicated to advancing the legal rights of LGBT people the world over. The Human Dignity Trust aims to tackle the 75 jurisdictions with laws criminalising private, consensual sexual conduct between adults of the same sex. HSF assist with legal analysis, support, and research in order to advance those goals. This has seen members of the team fly to jurisdictions in the Caribbean to present to local activists in order to find a test claimant willing to challenge the criminalising legislation.
HSF embraces diversity, and this includes diverse personalities and working styles. Do not fall into the trap of trying to imitate what you think a firm is looking for; as often it ends up going wrong. Be yourself and know your strengths. For example, if you have studied History before, then use that to demonstrate your transferable skills e.g. research and close textual analysis.