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From schoolgirl to solicitor: the journey into law

As a schoolgirl, Emma Millington dreamt of becoming a solicitor. This month that dream will finally come true.

Emma decided she wanted to become a solicitor after doing work experience with a law firm when she was 15.

Emma says: “Rather than just giving me menial tasks, they gave me lots of experience and insight into the legal profession. The partner there really inspired me as he had so much passion for the law.”

Such a positive experience made Emma determined that one day she too would be a solicitor. On 14th September, Emma, now 28, will finally achieve the goal that she set herself 13 years ago.

Emma says: “Qualifying after so much time, money and effort has gone into achieving the goal I set back when I was a schoolgirl is just an amazing feeling.

“You never really quite think you will make it, especially when you are working at the same time as studying.”

After completing her law degree in 2014, Emma took a year out and worked at a bank and studied part-time for her LPC.

When she wasn’t at university, Emma was working at the bank. She eventually worked her way up to team manager, producing documentation for private aircraft and yachts/boats.

Although the bank offered great career prospects, it couldn’t compete with Emma’s dream of becoming a solicitor.

The last leg of her journey was a two-year training contract that she secured with Atherton Godfrey LLP.

Diane Parker, partner and the firm’s training principal commented: “Emma was a stand-out candidate. She impressed us with the focus, dedication, and commitment she had shown in gaining her qualifications. On top of that, she’s a very friendly, outgoing person; all the qualities we look for in our trainees.”

Emma said she was thrilled to be offered the opportunity. “I wanted to work at Atherton Godfrey because there is a real family feel to the firm – you can feel it the moment you step through the door.

“Throughout my training contract I have always felt supported. It’s a great place to work. You never just feel like a number and you are able to build good relations with colleagues.”

“It’s been quite difficult though. There was a long time between me doing the degree and LPC and starting my training contract. Remembering everything I’d learnt was a challenge, so I had to spend hours with my head in the text books again.”

After qualifying, Emma plans to continue to work in the firm’s conveyancing department, building on her knowledge and experience.

Asked what advice she had for anyone thinking about a career in law, Emma said: “The journey is hard work and you have to invest a lot of time and energy. It’s important that you have a real passion for the profession. It won’t be easy, but keep going, the end result is really worth it.”

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