Nowadays a typical day involves drafting or reviewing legal documents, communicating with clients or other lawyers and meeting with clients. Sometimes I go on site to visit a property but my job is largely office based. This is different from when I was working within criminal and family law as much of my time was spent in the Magistrate’s Court, Royal Court or Family Court representing or meeting clients to take their instructions.
How did you get your job?
Throughout my A-level and university studies I undertook holiday work experience. I did a law degree then spent part of my year off working for a law firm before doing the Legal Practice Course (the English solicitor training course). I returned to Jersey and began work in the criminal and family law department of a large law firm. This was a firm I had built a relationship with as a student through the firm’s bursary scheme. Whilst working I completed my Jersey Advocate exams. A few years ago, I joined my current employer and now work for a smaller law firm advising largely on property law matters.
What motivates you in this role?
Assisting clients by doing the best job I can and advising them through a property transaction or assisting them with finding a resolution to whatever legal issue they may be facing. Law is varied and each area of legal practice involves different knowledge and skills. Similarly, each client case is interesting and different and poses different challenges.
Are there any future skills you will need to learn for your role?
I find I am constantly learning and developing new skills as the law, procedures and processes change and each new case throws up different challenges. Lawyers are required every year to complete a certain number of hours undertaking Continual Professional Development courses.
What are the three most important skills required for your role?
An attention to detail, good communication skills and an ability to give clear, reasoned advice.
What advice would you give someone interested in a career in your profession?
Whilst studying, apply to different law firms to try to get as
much work experience as possible across different areas of law. Find out which law firms offer a bursary scheme and apply, as they provide work experience opportunities, a chance to build a relationship with the law firm and an element of financial support.
I went travelling in my year off, including visiting Kenya, Rwanda and living with a family in Uganda. I also visited Peru, walked the Inca Trail, and Bolivia.