Before I had any meaningful appreciation of the concept of law, my parents christened me ‘pocket lawyer’ in recognition of my perhaps annoying ability as a child to produce a counterargument for any reproof at will. As I grew, my understanding of and interest in law grew also which led to my decision to study the subject at university. Upon graduating, I took a non-traditional route into private practice. My commitment to social mobility and empowering young people led me to volunteer for a year with the City Year UK charity. I spent an incredible year, primarily coaching and mentoring at-risk students, which culminated in a position at The Royal Household. In the intervening period between receiving my training contract offer and my start date, I worked for the International Development Committee at the House of Commons. I then studied the accelerated LPC and commenced my training with Herbert Smith Freehills shortly after.
My Future Focus
HARNESSING NEW TECHNOLOGY TO IMPROVE OUR WORK
There is huge potential for disruptive technology to revolutionise the practice of law. I want to take advantage of initiatives such as Innovation10 to harness the potential of technology to transform the service we provide to clients.
Following graduation, I decided to spend a year volunteering for social mobility charity, City Year UK, a dual-purpose charity which trains and places full time 18-25 year old volunteers in state primary and secondary schools to mentor at-risk schoolchildren and to foster social mobility. I was allocated to an inner-city primary school in London, where I created a number of interventions for pupils including an additional maths provision for underperforming high potential students.
On an ostensibly ordinary Friday afternoon, I rewarded a group of students who had achieved their behavioural targets that week with a visit to the school's technology suite. One of the students in the group happened to also form part of my additional maths provision. As I sauntered around the room monitoring the students' internet surfing, I noted that the student from my maths provision had angled his computer screen away from public viewing. Fearing the worst, I marched over and demanded to see the screen. My request was met initially with an expected resistance and then to my surprise, embarrassment. The student only agreed to show me his screen on the condition that I promised not to laugh at its contents. I dutifully agreed. Again, to my surprise (and admittedly, relief), it was a YouTube video of a mechanic fixing a car.
In the dialogue that followed, the pupil confessed that he aspired to be a mechanic to follow in the footsteps of his uncle. I added in passing that he could work on spaceships if he was particularly adept at maths and science. His response struck me. He gasped and shouted "really!" Evidently he didn’t know it was possible because no one had ever told him or shown him that it was. For weeks, I had struggled to get him to concentrate during the maths provision and in an instant, he was energised and engaged! This experience has stayed with me and has made me different. Now, part of my desire to make the most of my potential and become as successful as my talent will allow is to become a visible role-model to the next generation.