(Solicitor Team Leader)
Why did you choose to study law?
At school I enjoyed History and Politics, so I felt that a degree in Law would be a good fit. My older sisters had studied Law at Queens, so I also had some insight from their experiences. My degree was a joint honours in Law and Accounting, so I felt it would open up a wide range of potential careers on graduation.
How did you end up in Fieldfisher?
After qualifying as a solicitor and completing a Masters in Corporate Governance I worked in the Forensics department of a professional services firm fulfilling a role that drew on both my legal and accounting background, as well as introducing me to the emerging field of Legal Technology. After almost 10 years in that job I wanted to move a bit closer to legal practice, so two years ago I moved to Fieldfisher.
What does your current role involve?
I am the Solicitor Team Leader for the Belfast Hub, and I manage a team of paralegals who support multiple departments across Fieldfisher, both in the UK and across our European and US offices.
It offers me a fantastic variety of areas of law to be involved in – a typical day could involve working in Corporate, Debt Recovery, Real Estate, Dispute Resolution, Immigration, Intellectual Property, the list goes on! It is a very people focused role as I mentor and support our paralegals as well as marketing our team amongst fee-earners across the network of Fieldfisher offices.
What interesting changes have happened, or are happening in your field?
Given the broad spectrum of areas of law my team work in, we keep abreast of developments across a number of practice areas. Over the past number of years we have witnessed the exponential growth of the Alternative Legal Services industry and the advancement of Legal Technology and my team work closely with Condor, Fieldfisher's alternative legal solutions division, to service our clients' technology assisted needs.
Advice and tips for current students?
Take advantage of any opportunities that come your way, academic and otherwise. Your time as a student is an amazing opportunity to develop new skills and make lifelong friends. I spent a year in the USA pre-final year on Study USA (then known as the Business Education Initiative) which was a fantastic experience, educationally, culturally and socially.
What’s important during selection/recruitment, or to demonstrate at a job interview?
I interview potential employees regularly, and I see it as a great opportunity to learn the detail behind the CV, and hear real life examples of an applicant's skills. It's also an opportunity for you to show your personality. We work collaboratively every day so soft skills like good communication and teamwork are essential.
Do extra-curriculars matter? (in bolstering a student’s CV);
Absolutely. We value a team of well-rounded individuals. We will teach graduate entrants the "on the job" skills they need, but the transferable skills you gain from extracurricular activities will certainly stand you in good stead.
What did you love about studying at QUB?
Queens allowed me to begin the process of independent learning, but in a very supportive environment. I had some fantastic lecturers and tutors, with some of whom I am still in contact. There were opportunities to develop a broad range of interests and try new things, which I thoroughly appreciated.