Property – Housing Investment
Degree: History, First, Durham University
GDL: College of Law, York
LPC: College of Law, York
Firm: Dickinson Dees
Why did you decide upon a career in law?
I wanted something that was challenging, practical, with a lot of contact with people, and that involved problem-solving – there’s been a lot of that. I wanted it to be difficult and to be learning all the time.
What did the application process involve?
It was quite straightforward. The firm uses an online application form, then gives you online tests. I then had half a day of interviewing and some more verbal and numerical tests. Of all the applications I did, I found this firm’s was the simplest. There weren’t too many questions, and I didn’t feel I was repeating myself.
What type of work are you doing in your current seat?
I mainly act for property investment companies that buy big portfolios of properties and then sell them on or lease them out. My work includes responding to enquiries about lease terms. I do a lot of drafting of "licences to assign" and lease agreements. They are standard documents, but all differ slightly. I enjoy seeing transactions from beginning to end – I get the chance to really move files along myself rather than relying on others.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I have a lot of client contact in my current seat. Because I have a lot of responsibility for files, I get to know clients quite well. I realised early on I didn’t want to work in London, and I was attracted to Newcastle because it has a variety of work and a lot of international and London-based clients. We have a good work/life balance here.
What do you like least?
Too much work. Only kidding. I do have lots to do, and it’s a tricky seat to come into because of the volume of work – it’s difficult, but that’s what I wanted.
What advice do you have for readers?
Decide geographically where you want to be, and do as much research as you can to find a firm that suits you. Also, be completely honest on your application form rather than building yourself up to be something you’re not. That way, you’ll have a good interview. Firms are interested in who you are and what you do – that’s what makes you a good person to work for them.