My journey to law has taken a bit longer than I thought it would when I left Johnstone High School in 2011. Instead of going directly from my undergraduate clinical LLB to study my diploma I decided to take a ‘break from Law’ in the summer of 2015. I didn’t do a particularly good job at this and my break from law ended up with me joining Gillespie Macandrew’s Private Client team as a trainee paralegal and proceeding to qualify as an accredited Law Society of Scotland Paralegal. In total I worked in my paralegal role for four years spending the last two years working part time and completing my Diploma part time before changing my career path and starting as a trainee Solicitor in September 2019.
During school, university, and my time working for Gillespie Macandrew, I have been asked on multiple occasions, and in multiple ways, the question ‘why Law?’ and, in all honesty, I’m not convinced I have ever given the same answer twice.
Some of the reasons I remember giving were:-
1. I have two older brothers, they are both engineers and I wanted to be different;
2. I once did a debate in primary school and I thought it was quite fun. This clearly meant Law was for me; and
3. We have a family friend who is a lawyer and he seemed to enjoy it.
At this stage I can’t remember the actual answer to why I first set my heart on a career in Law. On reflection, it was perhaps a bit of an odd choice for me considering I was always better at maths than the classic ‘Law leaning’ essay based subjects.
Having volunteered in a Law Clinic throughout university as well as having my experience with Gillespie Macandrew I now have around 9 years’ practical legal experience. While there is probably still part of me that is the youngest sibling wanting to do something different from my brothers, my answer to ‘why Law?’ is now very different.
I consider myself very privileged to be in a positon where I am able to use my skills and knowledge on a daily basis to assist people when they are at a point in their life where they need to interact with the legal system in some way. Law is, at its core, about people and this is what drives me to continue on my journey to Law. Currently, my answer to ‘why Law?’ is ‘the people’ whether that be my colleagues, other professionals, clients or simply one of the many people I come in contact with every day.
As already acknowledged, I have probably never answered the question of ‘why Law?’ in the same way twice. As a legal professional, I don’t think your journey to Law is ever at an end and I know my answer to the question ‘why Law?’ will continue to evolve throughout my career. The true answer is always going to be a little bit of all the answers I have given in the past and I look forward to learning what my answer to this question may be in the future.