I have several memories of being told as a child that with my knack for arguing back, I was destined for a career in law. Whilst my job involves a lot less arguing than my family probably imagines, what started as a family joke inadvertently set me on my path to Herbert Smith Freehills. I studied History at university with an eye on a law conversion later down the line, and a vacation scheme at a City firm confirmed to me that a career in law would offer me the challenge I was looking for.
My future focus
DRIVING THE CONVERSATION ON RACE AND CULTURE
I’ve recently taken over as co-chair of the London Multiculturalism Network (MCN), a forum for all members of the firm to engage with matters of race, faith, ethnicity and culture. The MCN's work revolves around celebrating cultural diversity, creating spaces for individuals to share their experiences honestly, and facilitating dialogue between the firm's leadership and staff on strategic matters relating to race and culture.
As I've made the transition into becoming a mid-level associate I've gained an increased understanding of and interest in the internal workings of the firm as a business. With that in mind it was a natural fit for me to join the Associate Discussion Group (ADG), a longstanding forum through which associate representatives from all of the London practice groups provide feedback from their peers directly to the firm's US/UK Regional Managing Partner.
However after attending my first meeting (which included a lengthy debate about the dinner options in the canteen…) I felt strongly that the ADG had the potential to provide a more meaningful dialogue between associates and the UK Executive and, in doing so, allow relatively junior members of the firm to take an active role in influencing our approach to strategic issues. In a bid to make that vision a reality I've spent the last six months working closely with another ADG rep (and our HR team) to re-launch the ADG under a new charter, with a firm focus on big picture issues.
The relaunch has had strong support from senior members of the firm, which I'm really proud of. Consequently we held our first meeting following the relaunch in March, which included lively discussion of key issues such as performance reviews and remuneration. The feedback since has been incredibly positive and we are building on this with a dinner between the UK Executive and the ADG representatives to better understand the types of issues that we can provide a sounding board for. As one of the two ADG coordinators I'm excited to be able to take on an influential role in continuing to grow its platform.