Oscar recently qualified from our trainee programme and is now working full time in our employment team as a newly qualified solicitor (congrats Oscar!). We caught up with Oscar to find out more about his journey and whether he can share any words of wisdom!
Our people definitely bring more than legal knowledge to the table.
Whether it’s speaking multiple languages, being passionate about a sport or having a peculiar hobby, it’s great to be different! I lived abroad for six months before my undergraduate degree and then took a year out afterwards. No one’s career path is the same and that’s definitely valued here.
We’re so much more than a law firm. We’re ambitious, slightly against the grain and changeable.
There’s a real emphasis here to look beyond the law and advise our clients on a commercial and practical level. I like the fact that legalese, jargon and over-complication are discouraged here. Clients need our advice but it’s important that they understand the advice they’re being given.
Over the past few months, as a business, we have shown that we are genuinely adaptable. No-one was completely prepared for the coronavirus pandemic but we were able to move swiftly to homeworking and I think this demonstrates our adaptability as a firm. The senior leadership team here recognised that the pandemic was (and still is) a difficult period but we’ve taken a head-on, pragmatic approach to dealing with it.
I’ve had exposure to the varying challenging issues our clients face from day one.
I definitely wouldn’t have enjoyed my training contract (or my NQ role) if I was ‘in the background’. It’s all about building and developing trusting relationships and at Shakespeare Martineau junior staff are given plenty of responsibility and allowed to run files themselves. In my view, there’s no better way to learn. Equally, you will be surrounded by hugely experienced supervisors who are available to lend a helping hand.
There’s more than one way of getting a task done. And doing it well.
We work as a team and play to our strengths - everyone in my team has their own unique way of working. It’s great to work in a collaborative environment and adopt the approaches that work best for me to develop my own style.
The work I do is making a real difference.
As part of my NQ role I really get a sense that the work I am doing is helping both commercial and individual clients. Employment law can be particularly difficult to navigate and it is great to provide business and individuals with a steer.
For example, over the past few months, we’ve had lots of questions about the furlough scheme and how to implement furlough across a workforce, so we have had to stay attuned to the evolving government advice and communicate this to clients in a clear way.
We’re supported and encouraged to get involved with social activities and engage with local charities.
Last year I did a skydive with some colleagues to raise money for two local charities. This was an exhilarating (and terrifying) experience but I’m so happy the firm encouraged me to get involved.
For the time being our social activities are “virtual” ones, but we are still doing lots as a firm. Even the simple things like a Friday catch-up and quiz with your team or wider office really boosts morale, and our social committees have been fantastic in terms of getting everyone involved (even if via the computer screen!)