Name: Jennifer Choi
Degree and university: College of Law, Chester, Law LLB (2:1)
Job Title: Insurance Assistant Legal Advisor, DWF
Why did you decide upon a career in law?
I decided to pursue law because it makes use of both legal and non-legal skills I’ve gained during my degree and work experiences. I was attracted to the fast-paced and competitive nature of commercial law, and I felt the variety of work from high-value corporate transactions to negotiations in contentious practice areas, presented interesting challenges. On my vacation placements, I found I enjoyed working in a legal environment and haven’t looked back since!
What did the application process involve?
The application process was initially a CV and covering letter, followed by a first-stage interview consisting of a verbal reasoning test and an interview with two solicitors. Then, I was invited back for a second interview, which involved a presentation on a landmark insurance case in front of two partners and a solicitor.
Can you describe what you actually do?
Insurance is a huge department in DWF, and my team specialises in recovering what insurers pay out from third parties who contributed to the damage. We each have our own caseload, which means we are responsible for the ongoing negotiation up to the case being settled or going to court, while keeping our own clients updated. This area has a huge scope and we regularly handle cases involving all sorts of disasters ranging from subsidence and water damage, to fire and floods.
What do you enjoy most about your job and are there any downsides?
DWF aims to maximise everyone’s potential and in the short time I’ve been there I’ve been allowed to take on a lot of responsibility. I’ve been the sole contact for policy-holders, brokers and forensic experts alike. Whilst that might sound like I’ve been thrown in at the deep-end, everyone from partners and fellow advisors to secretaries has given me enormous support and advice. For me, it is this close-knit network which forms the highlight of working at DWF.
The only downside is the fact that this quality of work and this level of training and development can’t have the “Training Contract” label attached to it!
What do you think are the most important skills you need to succeed in law?
The ability to network and maintain relationships is a key skill for success, as it’s the one thing that will distinguish you from the masses of similarly qualified and competent lawyers. In addition, being ambitious, flexible and responsive to market demands will stand your legal career in good stead in the long run.
What would be your best piece of advice for graduates considering a career in law?
Persevere! Apart from knowing what you want, it’s really wanting it and making sure it shows in every aspect along your career path – from your quest for a training contract and beyond. Stay confident and never turn down an opportunity to learn. All the rest – work experience and so on – will fall into place.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
If you can handle early responsibility, have a sense of humour and want challenging work in a sociable firm that’s going places – apply to DWF!