Services
People
News and Events
Other
Blogs

Breaking the bias: Our advice for starting out in family law

  • Posted

Today, 8 March 2022, is International Women’s Day. The theme this year is break the bias, as we look to live in a world that is diverse and inclusive, free from bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. The goal for us all is to create inclusive work cultures where women's careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated.

We asked some of our Family Law Group colleagues to reflect on this, and asked 2 questions:

What is the best advice that you were given at the start of your career? And,

What advice you would pass on to women joining the legal profession now

We hope you find the answers inspiring!

 

What is the best advice that you were given at the start of your career?

Alex Johnson, Solicitor

“Expect the unexpected. No day is the same. With all the will in the world, you can have your day planned to a T and one email can turn your plan on its head. It is important that you remain calm under pressure and can deal with unexpected issues in a collected and organised manner. I love a list, I love a plan but sometimes your day just doesn’t go that way.”

Kerry Avis, Associate Solicitor

“The best advice I got was to show I was determined to get where I wanted to be, and I was proactive at going out and getting it. I was told to show I was ‘hungry and had a passion for law’”.

Amanda Brown, Director

“You can do anything if you put your mind to it. And you have to work hard, and the rewards will follow.”

Megan Edwards, Associate Solicitor

“There are a couple of pieces of advice that I received at the start of my career, from different people, which I will never forget. The first of those was to visualise my success. I was always told that people who visualise their success are more likely to go on to achieve the things that they set their minds to. I am personally a big believer of this, and I try to implement different things that help me visualise my success such as writing my goals down on paper and talking to people about my goals. This piece of advice has really helped me with my inner motivation and positive career outlook.

The second piece of useful advice I received was to always remind myself why. I chose a career in family law because I wanted to really make a difference to people’s lives, but it is no secret that this career can be challenging at times. I wanted to do something that I would always be proud of. It is human nature to doubt ourselves sometimes, especially in those difficult and challenging times. We can often lose sight of what it is we set out to do, and what really motivates us. The key thing to do is to figure out what your ‘why’ is; what are your core values and what motivates you to do what you do? I was always told once you know this, it helps keep you grounded and focused, and I can say that thus far in my career it has really worked.”

 

What advice you would pass on to women joining the legal profession now

Alex Johnson

“There is no rush to qualify. Persevere, set yourself goals and take care of yourself. I was told in my entry level job that I wasn’t the right fit for the firm and I would probably never qualify there. It was really disheartening and really impacted my confidence. I realised soon after that the firm wasn’t the right for me either; I didn’t find the work rewarding and the ethos of the firm didn’t sit right with my personal morals.

I was offered a paralegal role in 2017 at FLG and I haven’t looked back since. The ethos of the firm fits my personal morals, it is supportive and the training is second to none. I qualified as a Solicitor in September 2021 and now support other paralegals in their journey to qualifying. I set myself a goal at 23 years old that I wanted to qualify as Solicitor by the time I was 30. I did it with 8 days to spare.

From earning my undergraduate degree in Economics in 2013, it took me 8 years to qualify. Working in different areas of law and as a paralegal before starting my training contract has made me a more rounded and confident lawyer. The journey to qualifying has been one of many personal challenges; I have learnt to ensure that I have a work-life balance and the things I need to do to take care of my mental and physical health so that I come to work each day motivated and ready to do my thing.”

Kerry Avis

“The advice I would give to someone is to just keep going and not give up. The legal profession is a very competitive one and we all suffer setbacks or ‘rejection’. Naturally, every knock back can be deflating and make you want to give up. I would instead see every knock back as a learning experience and an opportunity to build and adapt. Take from that experience and see what you can do differently next time. With this determination and drive, you will already be building good attributes and the strength to become a fantastic lawyer.”

Amanda Brown

“You need a strong mind, determination, and resilience. You also need a good work ethic and a passion for what you do.”

Megan Edwards

“If I had to choose one piece of advice to pass on to women joining the legal profession now it would be to cultivate your perseverance. Don’t be afraid to fail; there may be challenges ahead and if things to do not work out in the first instance, that’s ok. They are just temporary setbacks for you to learn from. Get back up, and try again. A career journey isn’t always a straight line and success isn’t linear. The legal professional can be a very difficult one to break into, and it can have its challenges along the way. Never doubt yourself, encourage yourself, and you will go on to achieve great things.”

 

If you would like to pursue a career in family law, do get in touch via our recruitment page https://www.familylawgroup.co.uk/site/about/career-opportunities/

 

Comments