I was always interested in the law, but back home in Canada it’s not something you can study as an undergraduate. At 18, I wasn’t ready to commit to a specific career path anyway, so when I came to the UK I decided to cast my net a little wider. I’d done a lot of debating in high school, which was something I thoroughly enjoyed, and that, coupled with an interest in politics, led to a degree in International Relations.
By the time I graduated however, I realised that a career in law would open up a greater variety of opportunities in terms of my professional development and my lifestyle. That’s when I set my sights on my LPC and I started to think about the kind of firm I wanted to join.
Two things were important to me: first, it had to combine a good, well-balanced training structure with expertise in Healthcare and Life Sciences – the area of law I’m particularly interested in; and second, because I see it as a long-term commitment, the culture had to be right. It had to be open and engaging. I had to feel comfortable with the people.
One firm stood head and shoulders above the rest, and from the application process on, my heart was set on joining Baker McKenzie. I expected a law firm to have a ‘sink or swim’ mentality, but Baker McKenzie is so much more welcoming and supportive than that. Senior people take the time to know you and figure out what they can offer to help you on your journey.
I’ve been here a little over six months now, and I’m about to start my second seat. My first was with the team in Corporate Finance, which gave me a fascinating insight into equity capital markets, the Financial Conduct Authority and the London Stock Exchange. During my time there, I also had the chance to get involved with work in other areas – like mergers and acquisitions, and corporate reorganisations.
The seat I’m about to start is in Disputes, which covers all types of dispute resolution – from negotiation, mediation and arbitration, all the way through to trial. The work in Disputes touches most other practice areas, and together with the experience I gained in Corporate Finance, I’m hoping that will serve me well in my third seat.
By the time my final seat comes around, I should have a clear idea about the path I want to take. A client secondment would be great at that point, particularly one that gives me the chance to work overseas. If that doesn’t happen, however, I know my development won’t stop when my Training Contract comes to an end. When I qualify and become an Associate with the Firm, there will still be plenty of opportunities ahead.