Jamilah is one of our first year trainees, she is currently in her second year and on her third seat and currently on secondment at one of our largest energy clients. We caught up with Jamilah to find out more about her journey.
I followed the more traditional route into law, studying Law (LLB) at the University of Reading and then continued to complete the LPC LLM at the University of Law in Birmingham. Following graduation I worked for a year at Shakespeare Martineau in the real estate team which gave me heaps of really valuable experience before commencing my training contract in 2019.
Best thing about SMHA:
One of the best things about Shakespeare Martineau is its adaptability which couldn’t be better demonstrated than the working from home which was achieved within a week! Its focus on its people and their future and its ambitious long-term vision is so inspiring and something I’m proud to be part of.
What you like about your role:
I’m really enjoying gaining experience in a wide range of areas, having completed two seats so far. I get involved in a huge variety of different types of matters and the opportunity to work with some great people across different teams and levels of seniority.
My work so far has been varied, such as legal research; drafting letters of advice; statements of case and transaction documents; attending client meetings and court hearings; disclosure exercises; and preparing bundles. It’s been a rapid and exciting learning curve.
Biggest recent work achievement:
So far, my biggest achievement has been receiving really positive feedback from a partner and the client regarding a detailed piece of advice I’d drafted which was barely edited before it was presented.
I aim to experience as much that life has to offer, continue to work hard, and gain new and challenging experiences to grow personally, professionally and to unlock my full potential.
What’s looked for in a trainee:
Individuality is highly prized at the firm! Be genuine throughout the application process. I can assure you that although the firm is looking for talent, they want to see that you are authentic and have potential for growth. They are not looking for a perfect and polished individual so do not be afraid of your journey. Be true to yourself and let your ambition and passion shine through!
Other initiatives you’re involved in:
I am the firm’s representative for the Birmingham Trainee Solicitors’ Society and I have also been involved with some of the firm’s corporate responsibility initiatives. I am particularly enjoying my role as a connector which is a reverse Mentorship Scheme at the firm where I mentor the firm’s Life and Business Group Managing Director. It’s rewarding to see that my voice is heard and welcomed at the firm and any viable ideas are implemented.
Advice to training applicants:
When preparing your application always think about how your experiences have helped to shape you as a person and state how they will be relevant as a lawyer throughout your legal career. Do not get too bogged down in whether you have the experience, grades or “right” degree to apply.
Remember no experience is too trivial – legal or non-legal! We are interested in you as an individual and your potential.