My initial route into law was less traditional than most. Having loved languages at school, I read philosophy and German for my undergraduate degree. This allowed me to broaden my experience by spending time living and working in Germany: as an intern in Frankfurt during the third year of my degree and as an au-pair during my gap year in Berlin, one of my favourite cities. I was planning to return for my birthday in 2020 but, thanks to lockdown, a freezing afternoon in Greenwich Park had to do! 

My internship in Frankfurt landed me a project management role in the London office of the same company upon graduation. Lots of my clients in this role were solicitors, and in my conversations with them, I was struck by the variety of work they were involved in. It piqued my interest and, after looking more into law as a career, it became a natural choice for me. I swiftly signed up for law school.

I would encourage anyone looking for a training contract to gain a breadth of experience while studying. I shadowed both a family law barrister and then separately two partners at a firm of family law solicitors so that I gained a valuable insight into the negotiation process and court procedure from all angles. I also volunteered at a legal advice clinic during the LPC, which allowed me to shadow solicitors and witness their ability to adapt to different questions on the spot.   

After the GDL and LPC, I worked for four years as a paralegal at a litigation firm, initially in its employment department and then in its divorce and family department, and was always enthusiastic to engage in client-facing work. Within the employment team, I acted on client matters at various stages of Employment Tribunal litigation, covering breaches of post-termination restrictions, whistleblowing, discrimination and unfair dismissal. Within the divorce and family team, I worked on matters for high net worth individuals, with a particular focus on complex financial cases and child arrangements.

I have had a fantastic experience so far as a trainee at Russell-Cooke. The firm has been incredibly welcoming and supportive, and I am hugely enjoying getting to know all of my new colleagues. A full service firm of this quality means that the clients, practice areas and seat options are amazingly diverse, providing an excellent experience for trainees.