Age: 29 years old
Universities: 1997-2001 University of Tirana, Albania- 1st class honours degree- full time LLB, 2001-2002 De Montfort University, Leicester – GDL, 2003-2004 Matthew Boulton College, Birmingham- HNC in Business and Management, 2003-2005 The College of Law, Birmingham – LPC
Role: Currently a trainee solicitor in my final corporate seat at Fraser Brown Solicitors.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE UPON A CAREER IN LAW?
I have a background in languages in my high school international baccalaureate. It was a choice between studying international relations/diplomacy and law. I decided that my language skills could be better used in dealing with clients and transactions in other jurisdictions, in which I would have the leverage of understanding their language. Law is an interesting area of work which never fails to teach you something new and challenges you to really think outside the box and beyond what the facts or the situation really is. It allows you to develop your skills and personality and always directs you, almost without noticing, towards the area of expertise that you are the strongest and enjoy the most.
WHAT DID THE APPLICATION PROCESS INVOLVE?
I first started work as a caseworker/secretary in the franchise department for two years. Then I applied for the firm’s trainee scheme which involved CV and covering letter and also a presentation to two Partners and the Practice Manager of the firm in which I presented my achievements and experience with the firm and how I fitted with the firm’s trainee profile. It was a challenging presentation, but very much supported by my colleagues which gave me the confidence that I could go through. After the definite offer was made to me, I commenced my training contract 3 months after doing Employment as my first seat. I then moved onto Licensing and I am now in my final seat in the Corporate Department where I will spend the remaining 10 months of my training contract as this is the area of law I would like to specialise in.
CAN YOU DESCRIBE WHAT YOU ACTUALLY DO?
My job varies from file to file, from client to client. I have not spent much time in the current seat, only 3 months, however it is challenging and there is always something new to research every day. I work in the Corporate Department assisting one of the Partners and as such I have the opportunity to meet clients quite often and work on various files at different stages of the transaction. The work varies from research on legal issues to case law and legal updates to drafting various corporate documents on different transactions, for example on issue of new shares, changes or re-organisation of companies, business acquisitions or sales, etc. Being a trainee is quite advantageous as you have more time to keep up to date with the new legal updates and any bills proposed to the Parliament, you get the opportunity to research and read upon them during the tasks or any enquiries from clients.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
I enjoy meeting new people and working on relationships. You build up working relationships which will last for a long time and gives a chance to get to know your client better and do more work for them. There is also a sense of satisfaction when the matter completes successfully or in favour of your client and it is an amazing feeling knowing that you had a positive impact on someone’s life or business. During my other seats I had more contact with private clients, and their gratitude on positive outcomes, it makes you realise that lawyers are a helping hand in the process in changing around sometimes even the most complicated situations in favour of your clients. It is a job that raises you to the challenge almost every day.
ARE THERE ANY DOWNSIDES TO WHAT YOU DO?
I love my job and I always put my 100% in it. Sometimes, it is difficult to achieve what your client wants and that could be disheartening or make you doubt your abilities. However, if you just step back for a moment and think it through, the job will actually teach you on how to negotiate and achieve some desired outcomes for your client and you will be surprised of how good negotiators we all are when we put our minds into it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILLS/STRENGTHS YOU NEED TO BE A SUCCESS IN LAW?
I cannot possibly list all of the strengths; however some skills and virtues are paramount to be a successful lawyer nowadays:
Self- confidence and ability to think on your feet– the client approaches you for advice and having the confidence in yourself establishes quickly a relationship with the client for you to be able to obtain all of the information you need and for your client to help and assist you in the process, have faith in you doing a good job looking after his interests the best you can.
Patience- some days can be very hectic and dealing with more than one party in one transaction can be very difficult to handle. However, with that little bit of patience, nothing seems too hard to get through and it reminds you that you are not Superman and can only do so much at one given time. Clients rely on you for very important transactions that will have an impact on their lives, so it is crucial to be patient and if need be, it is ok to take time out.
I would also say that you need to have passion and determination to succeed. Like every other profession, unless you have a passion for it with determination to succeed, no job is too difficult and nothing is impossible or unreachable.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE FOR GRADUATES CONSIDERING A CAREER IN LAW?
Pursuing a career in law, either private or public sector or in-house, the opportunities are endless. It gives you an insight of how our society is regulated, how the communities function and how our government performs and functions. There are always potential new avenues to explore and organisations where lawyers are needed and play a crucial role. If you would like a career in law, you do not need to decide straight in your first year of undergraduate which area of law you would like to specialise in, take your time to evaluate your options and you will slowly direct yourself towards the type of law and organisation you really want to work for. This is how you will know that you have made the right choice!
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
I come from a European background and the prospects of studying and practising law in England & Wales are grand. The European law is not so much different from English law, as some people would think. Having studied both, I found that they actually complement each other quite harmoniously.
I am also completing a postgraduate diploma at the University of Cambridge to become a Notary Public. This is another avenue to explore as a career in law, especially when you have some knowledge of other jurisdictions and/or languages or travelling experience to assist you in your role.