Isra Ali recounts her experience of getting into the legal profession and explains what motivates her to work in the job she loves.
Hair brushed, blazer on, eyeliner flicked perfectly. The day was finally here. I was starting my first day as a Trainee Solicitor.
Walking into Glasgow City Centre, I reminisced, thinking about the first time I walked through the law firm doors. The most amazing summer in my third year of university, where I dipped my toe into the real legal working world for the first time
My 6 week internship paved the way and inspired my passion for the Personal Injury sector; something which hadn’t crossed my mind before. In those weeks I was determined to leave an impression that made me memorable. Walking into the reception 3 years later, the feeling was same but different: same because I had been here before…different because this was now my career.
Working in a large, leading firm in Scotland meant I was walking into a team of strong, unified individuals. An open plan office: initially a daunting thought for me, but in reality a set-up where EVERYONE from a fellow trainee to a partner was willing to lend a helping hand.
Elle Woods’ father in the film Legally Blonde states “law school is for people who are boring and ugly and serious”. My experience so far has proved that stereotype to be anything but!
Now I can’t account for the ugly part… but the boring and serious we are definitely not! My professional life thrives off of consistent social networking. From attending SEMLA events, to firm-wide charity fundraisers; even a cheeky pizza slice and diet coke at 5pm on a Friday night. This aspect of the legal sector has to be one of my favourites. Being able to converse with established judges, advocates and seniors, meeting fellow stressed out trainees and encouraging eager law students has further enhanced my skills used within my daily tasks.
What motivates me? The concept that every day is different. The typical 9-5 desk job incorporated with visits to court, visiting clients at home, or in my case even carrying out a site inspection following an accident.
I fit in here. The work is demanding but the outcome is satisfying. Using my ability to speak Urdu and other skills, I can make clients feel comfortable and listened to. There’s always that feeling of fulfilment when you see the difference you have made to someone’s quality of life after having gone through a difficult or life-changing experience. That is why I love what I do.
Looking back, I am grateful. Grateful, because when I left 6th year of high school having accepted an offer to study Pharmacy; the youngest of a science based family, it was my extra-curricular, life experiences and my own passion that re-directed me towards a career in Law.
Now when I sit back on the 7th floor office (well, from the comfort of my own living room at the moment!), I am excited to see what the future holds. Going to the office might have stopped for now, but the excitement for the job will always remain.
By Isra Ali