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Monday, 21 September 2015

Career Guest Post; Working as a Solicitor

Name: Jessica


Industry: Law 

Job Title: Solicitor

Brief description of job role and industry:

I am a Multi Track Personal Injury Solicitor which means I am predominantly responsible for handling claims involving serious injuries sustained as a result of road traffic accidents, defective highways, accidents at work or in public places, criminal injuries and failed beauty treatments. Mixed bag of any type of injury you can think of basically!

An average day consists of... 

To be honest every day is different - I never know whether I'll have to go out and see a new client at home or whether I'll be attending a Court Hearing at the opposite end of the country! Generally my days are spent reviewing medical records, calculating losses, preparing evidence and liaising with client's and their families to ensure they are getting the right medical treatment, care, funding, adaptations and support they need to get their lives back on track.

Career progression:

I started out as a Legal Assistant whilst I was working part time at University before I worked my up through the roles of Paralegal, Team Leader, Trainee Solicitor and finally to my current role of Solicitor. If you had asked me what area of law I wanted to go into after University I would never have said personal injury in a million years. It was just the first job/field I worked in and found that I actually really enjoyed it as it literally incorporates every other area of law. Whilst I work on serious injury cases at the moment, I am due to start a new job in September specialising in Brain Injury work which is the area of personal injury I have always wanted to specialise in.  My overall career goal is to become a Partner and help train others in my field. A far cry from the beauty, fashion and lifestyle blog I keep as a hobby, eh?!

Qualifications/experience required:

To become a Solicitor the conventional route is to complete a law degree and legal practice course before then finding a 2 year training contract at a firm and qualifying. The less conventional (and probably more practical route) is to study for the ILEX course to become a Legal Executive at a firm. What they don't tell you is that your 1st year grades definitely do count, you definitely do need a 2:1 to get anywhere and that the ILEX is much cheaper. 

Best tip to crack the industry:

If you are not from a family with money or who are already in the legal field then the only way to crack the industry is by sheer hard work and making yourself better than the rest. None of my family were Solicitors or Barristers and I would never have asked my Parents for the £12k to do my legal practice course, so the only way I have got to where I am is through sheer hard work and determination. Sure I've been knocked back a fair few times along the way, but I've kept going and finally got where I want to be. I also pushed myself out of my comfort zone by doing various legal competitions and volunteering for things to try to give my CV the edge over the competition.

Best thing about my job:

Without doubt meeting so many different people - both clients and other legal and medical professionals.  For me personally (cue the cheese alert!) it is also important to be able to have a sense of achievement and know that I have been able to make a difference to someone's life.

Worst thing about my job: 

Sadly us PI Solicitors get a really tough time in the media. We all know the "ambulance chasers" title and yes there are some firms out there who are and who are only interested in turning over whiplash claims to make some quick easy cash. However, there are some of us out there who genuinely want to help those who are most vulnerable get the treatment they need and contingency plan for the future - it's not about just adding the pound signs.

Finally, a big thank you to Lauren for letting me guest post on her career series. If anyone is thinking of a career in law or has any questions I am more than happy to try & help - just drop me a tweet on @jessicakgxx

Jessica KG x



  1. sounds like a fulfilling career!

    I personally love to work with numbers, so I guess I chose wisely :p

    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  2. I agree with Pam above.. Definitely sounds fulfilling. and intensive... Thanks for sharing I enjoyed reading.



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