Programme: LLB Law with French, (2003)
Current position: Associate, Mayer Brown International LLP
After completing my degree at Brum, I took the Legal Practice Course at Nottingham Law School, given its excellent reputation and chance to remain away from London for as long as possible. While at Nottingham, I applied for training contracts with large law firms, having spent the summer working through several law firms in London and Birmingham, to help narrow my selection of future employer. I secured my training contract with Mayer Brown whilst at Nottingham. After the LPC, I paralegalled for 6 months to earn enough money to support myself on a ski season in the Alps, shortly followed by a sailing season in the Greek Islands, before being lured back to London!
What does your current job involve?
As a solicitor/associate in the Finance and Banking department in a city firm, I have been trained to draft agreements (often in teams) which support large international transactions carried by our clients, which are mainly investment banks and corporations. I liaise with our clients and our network of lawyers in different offices to complete transactions, often to short deadlines at late notice. We are also trained in a variety of more specialist areas, which gives us the opportunity to specialise at a later stage, once we have achieved a thorough grounding in the initial stages of what is required in banking transactions.
What is the best thing about what you are doing now?
The wide range of experience across several jurisdictions, when completing elements of a transaction is very satisfying. My current job also gives me further opportunity to work abroad, either in our offices or with clients, in their in house legal teams. I particularly enjoyed my six month secondment to one of our clients in Brussels last year, which was a fantastic way to be based in Europe and practice UK law with a dynamic and ambitious team.
What was the best thing about your time as a student here?
I really enjoyed the intra-mural sports competitions and the chance to travel easily from Birmingham; we did a great sponsored hitch hike from Birmingham to Newquay which was pretty eventful. The opportunity to meet people from all over the world, in lots of different settings (on the sports field/bar/library) gives you a great base for working in any fast-moving, international environment.
How did you grow as a person by coming to University? Did it change your life in any way?
In what way did living and studying in Birmingham live up to your expectations? I didn't know Birmingham at all before coming to the city, however it is a great base for travelling all over the UK, and has a huge variety of attractions, especially on a student budget. I was already used to living away from home and sharing accommodation with different people, but what I really appreciated was the complete freedom to live, work and play in a great setting. Having the city (and all of its ways to spend your money!) just a few minutes away on the train, and having beautiful countryside a short drive away is an exceptional way to spend 3 or more years of your life.
What advice would you give to current students studying Law at the University?
Learn your way around the Harding Law Library while your workload is quiet, so that you know where and how to find the right cases before the rush. Make the most of the careers events organised by the Holdsworth Committee, which are an easy way to learn more about practising law all over the globe. Also, make sure you have friends from other faculties, to keep some of your life law-free!