It's international women's day today and we're proud of our two leading ladies; Samira Cakali and Mandy Walton. Both passionate about what they do and full of enthusiasm, to mark the day, we thought we'd bring you a little insight into why they decided on a career in the legal profession.
Like many teenagers as I approached the deadline for submission of the UCAS form, I attended careers evenings, had 1-2-1 sessions with the career’s adviser and vigorously undertook work experience in a number of industries. While, a combination of those activities helped me decide which career path I did not wish to embark on, nothing really helped me decide which one I did!
As the dreaded UCAS deadline loomed, I became more and more disheartened, particularly as some of my close friends had clear ideas of where they were headed (in fact, many targeted their A ‘levels towards their chosen profession).
Then one day in November, my career advisers (who, I admit, was despairing at this stage) asked me whether I had considered a career in law. I had not, why not I did not know, after all I loved a good argument! As my eyes lit up, I saw the relief on her face, she quickly added “and having a law degree is good to have, even if you decide not to become a lawyer” (I had an inkling that she was eager to tick me off her list).
Thereafter to solidify my interest I undertook a number of placements to decide which area of law I wanted to practice, and after initially deciding on Commercial Property, I eventually decided on Employment Law. The rest, I guess, is history.
So, in summary, the reasons why I chose to become a lawyer are because, I still love a good argument (and as a solicitor-advocate I get plenty of that), I enjoy being creative and thinking out of the box (whether it be to bring or defend a claim), and I thrive on helping people reach commercial solutions.
I always wanted to be a lawyer, but I couldn't tell you what single thing started me off down that path. It first appeared written on a primary school assignment, aged 7 or 8. As other children wrote about wanting to be pop stars, nurses, vets and astronauts when they grew up, I wanted to be a lawyer. I honestly have no idea where it came from. No one in my family is employed in the legal profession nor are family friends are linked to it. I can only imagine that 8-year-old me may have seen something on television, some film perhaps or a TV show, where the exciting courtroom storyline caught my eye.
And from that moment, it never changed. I never even so much as considered other professions, determined to achieve that goal once it had been set in my mind all those years ago. It's funny to think that I was so young that I cannot recall specifically what attracted me to the profession in the first place, but I am glad my determination helped me succeed in doing a job I truly love.
So, there it is. A little insight into how our women began their journeys. We hope you join us in celebrating the women in your business this International Women's Day.