Name: Nicola Stanley
Employer: FS LEGAL SOLICITORS LLP
Job Title: Associate Solicitor
What is the story of your career to date?
I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career when I was in sixth form, so did a general Business Studies degree with French. I loved it, but particularly enjoyed the law modules that I covered. I was offered a graduate management position when I left university which also had a legal slant to it, so I went on to do a law conversion course and qualified as a lawyer. I’ve worked as a Commercial Litigation Solicitor ever since!
What does a typical day look like for you?
Every day is different and depends on what cases we have and what timescales we’re working to. You can also plan your day then an email drops into your Inbox and everything changes. Some days can be spent reviewing documents, other days it’s a mixture of meeting clients or barristers, drafting letters and pleadings or appearing at Court.
What skills do you think are important in your role?
It is important to have good analytical skills – to be able to hone in on the critical issues of a case and identify what’s really important. You have to be able to communicate well so you can put your advice across, and be confident in meeting people from every walk of life. You need to be organised and thrive under pressure – the deadlines can be quite tight sometimes!
What advice would you give to someone who wants to do your job?
It’s definitely an interesting career but it is now very competitive (thankfully it wasn’t when I was looking for a training contract). Try to get as much work experience as you can, not just in a solicitor’s office.
Does your employer offer volunteering/apprenticeship opportunities?
Not at the moment.
What is the best thing about your job?
The exposure I have to really interesting cases, learning all the time and feeling (when a case goes well!) that justice prevails.
Where can I find out more?
The Law Society’s website is the best place to start – it has details about qualifying, and the likely costs of the courses you’ll need to do.