Rebecca, a former student of Richmond School in North Yorkshire, on how she built a career in a profession still dominated by privately educated employees.
What was your career journey from leaving school to becoming a solicitor?
After secondary school I went to Sixth Form in Darlington to do my A levels. In 2008 I moved to London to study law at King’s College London (which included a year abroad in Australia). I graduated in 2012. After graduation, I spent a year working at a local hotel before starting the LPC (a prerequisite to becoming a solicitor) at the University of Law. I then started a two-year training contract before qualifying as a solicitor in March 2017.
What career did you see yourself going into when you were at school?
Funnily enough I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was seven years old (after picking up a book about the law at a school jumble sale).
How do you feel your education prepared you for your career both academically and socially?
My education helped me learn the importance of hard work – it really does pay off! It also provided me with the ability to communicate with a wide range of people both in a professional and social setting.
What were the main difficulties or barriers you faced when building your career in law?
Not knowing anything about the path to becoming a solicitor nor having anyone to ask about building a career in law was difficult.
What would have helped you to overcome these barriers?
Having someone who had experience in the legal profession that I could have asked questions to would have been indispensable. The career path isn’t entirely straightforward and it would have been great to know the steps required from an early age.
What would be your advice to state school students trying to build a career in law?
Do something to make you stand out. Whether that is getting a hobby or a part-time job, it really makes the difference when you come to applying for a job and can be up against literally thousands of other applicants.
What does ‘social capital’ mean to you?
Building strong relationships and utilising those relationships.