The Legal Digest takes a curious and open-minded view to the trends and issues affecting the legal and business world and we believe that providing information exploring these issues helps the legal sector to become more diverse and inclusive.
Q & A with The Legal Digest Founder - Nathalie
Please could you tell readers your journey to being a lawyer?
After graduating from university with a law degree in 2012, like many other graduates I entered the job market just after the financial crash when businesses were really starting to feel the impact and trainee intake reduced significantly. I worked for a financial services firm in a client contact role before becoming a paralegal for various in-house legal departments and some private practice firms. I did this for around 5 years before I was formally offered a training contract in-house.
It was a long journey for me to qualification and there have been lots of bumps along the way however, I qualified with significantly more experience than other NQ’s and this worked to my advantage when applying for jobs. I learnt a lot from working with various organisations. Working in the law is tough and there is still a lot we need to do to improve the profession with a particular focus on wellbeing.
We are currently going through another period of changes in the legal jobs market so for any graduates reading this that are applying for training contracts all I can say is that it is a long hard process but staying determined and being open to working in companies/firms you hadn’t considered previously does help. Choosing a career in law is real test of stamina, patience and determination.
Why did you launch The Legal Digest?
I started blogging because I have always loved to write, do in-depth research, follow current trends and when I was younger there wasn’t a reference for me that did something similar.
Resources were quite limited to the usual law careers websites and I never felt that really helped me in interviews or gave me a real understanding of how the legal and business world was affected by changes and I also felt the legal sector needed to improve from an equality, diversity and inclusivity perspective too.
My aim with The Legal Digest has always been to provide insights on trends affecting lawyers and aspiring lawyers and in doing so help work towards creating a profession that champions wellbeing, equality, diversity and inclusivity.
My experience so far has taught me that too many lawyers suffer from burn out, too much has to be sacrificed in order to qualify as a solicitor and that the legal profession has a long way to go in ensuring that it has people from a diverse range of backgrounds. I have many stories about my time spent in the office when I felt myself or other colleagues were not included because we had a different educational background, culture or religion.
What do you think the future holds for the legal profession?
I think we are living in a period of time where we have so many uncertainties such as climate change and the public health crisis so I think people think about their safety and their family’s safety more than ever. I think this is dictating which direction people want their careers to take which is another reason why we are seeing so many becoming freelance lawyers or paralegals.
The perception of what it is to be a lawyer is changing and the legal sector needs people with lots of different skillsets. I think the future will look very different as legal technology really takes off and lawyers branch out into different roles that are not necessarily the traditional lawyer role.