Laura Hendrick, Associate (Qualified English Solicitor), Ogier
Legal Practice Course (Distinction) - College of Law, York
Graduate Diploma in Law - College of Law, York
University: BA (Hons) English and French (2:1), Warwick University
A-Levels: English, French and Maths
What led you to your career path?
I considered studying law at university but, having enjoyed my A-levels in English and French and wanting the opportunity to spend a year abroad, I decided to study English and French at Warwick University for my undergraduate degree. Law was always in the back of my mind as a potential career and during my final year at university, I applied to the College of Law in York to do the GDL, a one-year law conversion course. Once accepted onto the course, I deferred my place and took a year out to go travelling. I then returned and completed the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and went on to study for the LPC.
I was fortunate to receive a bursary from Ogier which provided me with some financial support towards my studies and the opportunity to undertake work experience at the firm. During the LPC I applied for a training contract with Ogier to qualify as an English solicitor and after being accepted, commenced my training contract in September 2008.
How did you progress to your current position?
I decided to qualify as an English solicitor as I wanted a qualification that would be recognised in the UK and worldwide, thereby providing more flexibility. The training contract lasts 2 years and throughout my time I rotated around the firm and worked in different areas of the business. I spent time in Trusts, Corporate, Funds/Corporate and Litigation. Moving around and gaining experience in different areas of law was invaluable as not only does it make you aware of what you like - you also find out what you don’t! It is a great experience working with many different colleagues and learning the different styles and techniques. I qualified as an English solicitor in September 2010 and am now working permanently in Corporate Law.
What advice would you give to current students considering a career in finance?
Choose A-Levels you like and which you think may be useful to the degree/career that you are ultimately contemplating. If you are unsure as to what you want to do, choose subjects you enjoy so that you have a bit of flexibility. If you are interested in law but are not 100% certain that it’s the route you want to take, consider studying something else at university and remember that you can always do a law conversion course. The GDL is an intense course as it is essentially combining the core elements of a three year degree into one year but it does mean that as a non-law graduate, you can begin a career path.
It is also important to note that you will not be at a disadvantage should you choose not to study law at university. In fact, employers may see it as an advantage as you will probably have expertise in another field. Regardless of what you studied, you will always have transferable skills to bring to any new job. If you are interested in a career in law, I would recommend contacting the local law firms and get some work experience as this is invaluable and can provide you with a real insight into the different areas of law you can actually work in.