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WILL committee members
Law doesn't have to be linear
We recently hosted a panel event in collaboration with Women in Law London (WILL) at LexisNexis House, to examine some of the alternatives to a linear career. The panel comprised of some enterprising and successful lawyers who’ve chosen a different path and forged the way for a new generation of lawyers to re-consider their career options. Sophie Gould from LexisNexis was invited to join the panel debate on why law doesn’t have to be linear.
The assumption that a lawyer would enter private practice and march forward towards partnership with the same firm in linear fashion is thankfully becoming fast outdated. Just as the legal profession is considering a variety of different and cost effective ways to deliver a client centric legal service, there are now a myriad of options for a successful legal career.
"Moving in-house is no longer career suicide”: Sophie Gould, Solicitor and Head of Legal In-house for LexisNexis
Sophie started her career in private practice before moving in-house in a media company at 2 years PQE, frustrated by the culture of success being measured by “how many hours spent sitting at your desk rather than the impact you’re making” that she found when in private practice. Despite the clear implications from her peers and mentors that working in-house was only for second rate lawyers, Sophie found that the smaller environment, seeing projects through from end to end for only one client and having more responsibility early on suited her, and also allowed her to gain business experience.
In a further career move, she then moved to LexisNexis as Head of Legal for the In-house segment, 6 years ago from a Head of Legal position at Ginger Media Group.
Her advice is that lawyers should not be afraid to move in and out of the law; to try different things and even if the roles advertised are not perfect roles for you, pitch what skills you have and what you want.
"Managing positions in law can be just as fulfilling as practising law": Fiona Fitzgerald, CEO of Radcliffe Chambers
Fiona read a degree in business and French before qualifying as a solicitor in Manchester and then moving to a London firm. Originally following a more tradit
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