My Journey in FJG – Juggling becoming a Solicitor and a mum
16 July 2019 by Natasha Swift
Leaving sixth form, a career in Law was always an option for me but, as most 17/18 year olds, to make a decision on the ‘rest of your life’ at that age was difficult, so I chose to attend University and study a topic I enjoyed.
My interest in Law stemmed from TV documentaries, shows and the news as well as crime novels and fictional books. Despite not choosing Law as an A Level, for University there wasn’t really much else that interested me so I thought, let’s try gaining a degree in Law.
Even whilst at University, I wasn’t one who would raise their hand at ‘who wants to be a Solicitor or Barrister’, I just knew at that time in my life this is what interested me. It was only when I was offered a job at FJG that I really started to make decisions about my career path.
My interview at FJG was with the Managing Partner, Paula Fowler, and even at that point, I made it clear that although I wanted to be involved with Law I didn’t want to be a Solicitor. However, when my position as secretarial maternity cover was coming to an end 9 months later, my meeting with Paula was very different and I knew, after my experience of working alongside a very talented Family Law Partner, that being a Solicitor was what I wanted to achieve.
I chose to attend the University of Law and study my LPC. FJG were extremely supportive and allowed me to work part-time 4 days a week and attend University for the other day. Studying part-time meant the LPC would take 2 years to complete.
However, after completing my first year of my LPC I went on maternity leave. It was a tough decision on whether to continue with my LPC throughout maternity leave or defer it until I returned to work. I was able to take lots of advice from Partners at the firm and eventually chose to continue with my LPC. FJG fully supported me before I went on maternity leave regarding my decision and encouraged me to continue with my LPC when I returned to work.
Upon returning to work in August 2018, I was able to settle in extremely quickly, even though a year had passed. It was as enjoyable as before. I had completed my LPC and was ready to commence my training contract in January 2019.
So far, my path to becoming a Solicitor has not been the traditional ‘University – LPC – Training Contract – Qualification’ route. I studied part-time alongside work. I took maternity leave during my LPC but throughout, FJG have always supported and encouraged my growth within the firm. Having colleagues from University who had proceeded with the traditional route, it was reassuring to be working within a firm who were flexible with their staff and supportive in promoting the staff they already have.
I am now in my second of three seats with FJG and will be taking maternity leave mid-way through my training contract. Again, to take maternity leave at this time isn’t common but I have been supported by FJG with my decision and have not felt as though my career was less important than anyone who had taken the traditional route to becoming a qualified Solicitor.
My career with FJG has shown that as a firm they always put their staff first and they give anyone who wants to progress with their career, the support and encouragement they need to do so. I believe that if I were at a different firm going along this path to qualification, my experience would have been very different.
FJG attract applicants for training contracts via various different routes and encourage application at all levels from capable, dynamic, talented and bright people. If you fit with our ethos, we will fit with your aspirations. Make initial contact with Fisher Jones Greenwood by calling 01206 700113 or emailing [email protected].
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