Name: Clare Louise Carter
Degree and university: Studied at the University of Glamorgan, Law LLB(HONS) full-time and also the LPC.
Job Title: I am currently an Employment Law Legal Advisor for MJL Business Support.
Why did you decide on a career in law? My secondary school focused on Performing Arts so many of my friends went into that field as that’s all we knew. I loved my Art, Music and Drama, but it just did not seem enough to build a career out of. I had never studied Law and my secondary school did not offer law at G.C.S.E or A Level, so in all honesty I had no idea if I would like it or if I’d be good at it.
I knew that law would be hard work and a challenge, but the glossy prospectus pages detailing the elements of a qualifying law degree pulled me in, and I was set.
All I knew was a career in law would not be repetitive, and it would keep my mind young.
What did the application process involve? The application process for MJL Business Support involved a written application, consisting of my current C.V and covering letter. I was then invited to attend an interview, where I met the Head of Department and two other Legal Advisors. I answered numerous questions ranging from my past experience, through to my studies, and how I would advise on certain situations. I was then invited to spend half a day in the role to see how I was in a practical situation, and how my skills shone in a working environment.
Can you describe what you actually do? I work for a HR and Health and Safety consultancy. My role within the company is an Employment legal Advisor. On a daily basis I advise companies on Employment Law issues ranging from contract queries to responses to ET1′s they have received. Our Clients range from small local businesses, to huge franchises such as Dominos pizza, and they can be anywhere in the country.
My daily routine is never the same; it can range from visiting clients to go through contracts, or I advise on issues face to face, or even attending tribunal representing respondents in Employment Tribunal Claims.
What do you most like about what you do and are there any downsides? In all honesty the best thing about my job is I’m doing what I love. Going to work is not a chore and I enjoy every minute even the ups and downs. I absolutely love the fact that every day is different, whether it’s in the office advising clients on the phone, out visiting clients, or attending tribunal. You could never say that this job is a nine-to-five desk role. I work with a fantastic bunch of people and they make the job what it is each day just disappears.
Whenever I am asked are there any downsides it really is hard to say, I guess I don’t look for them because I am in a role I enjoy.
What skills do you think you need to make a success of what you do? I would say one of the most important skills that you need is determination. It’s a competitive world and you will find times when you just don’t seem to be getting interviews, and my advice is to carry on. If you have a true drive and passion for Law no one can stop you doing what you love.
Once you get a job in the legal field you need to master the skill of listening. You need to have the ability to sit and detail everything your client is telling you so that you can provide the best service to that person, without allowing your personal feelings to get in the way.
What advice would you give candidates wishing to enter the Law sector? The best piece of advice for anyone considering a career in law is not to underestimate the value of any work experience you can gather. Many companies provide unpaid placements which can be the tool to make you shine above all the other candidates.
A career in law means you never stop learning and it’s constantly changing, so you need to be prepared for ups and downs.
Is there anything you would like to add? A career in Law is not limited to "I have to be a Solicitor or a Barrister" — there are so many different options, such as Paralegals, legal advisors, or Clerk. You just need to find the right role for you.