Professional Ambassadors

Zak S

Associate | Baker McKenzie

Profile Highlights:

  • State school educated
  • First Generation Lawyer
  • Sexual orientation
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I never thought I’d end up working at a firm like Baker McKenzie, mainly because I’d never heard of Baker McKenzie before university. In fact, I’d never heard of any law firms before starting at university. Because nobody else in my family is a lawyer (nor do any of them have any sort of City job) and because I went to a school out of which very few kids went on to your typically “prestigious” careers, the legal world was a completely foreign idea to me until I began studying Law at the University of Nottingham.

Even at university, I wasn’t sure that a career in City law was for me. Many if not most of the other students in my year looking to apply for training contracts with the top firms seemed all to have wanted to be lawyers their entire lives and to have an aunt, a godfather or a parent in the profession with whom they’d done various work placements. There seemed to be a certain “type” with certain assets and I worried that my chances at getting a training contract were slim because I didn’t have those assets.

Whilst I didn’t know of Aspiring Solicitors at university, the very fact that they exist goes to show that the world of law is changing. Firms are much more focused on talent and capability nowadays, and securing a training contract at Bakers for me was testament to that shift. Now that I’m involved in this world, I’m incredibly proud of the assets that I do have – state school educated, first in family to go to uni, first generation lawyer, gay, born abroad and mixed race. I’m proud of these things because they show that it’s becoming increasingly less important what your background is, what school you went to, how you look or what you sound like – which is the way it should be! I want others to realise that none of these things are reasons to stay away from the legal profession. If anything, they’re reasons to seek a career and continue to show that ultimately it’s only talent that should matter.

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