Nadine Shanahan found it easier to get a foothold on the career ladder than she had expected
After attending Legal Cheek‘s ‘How to be a serious injury lawyer’ event with Fletchers in March, Nadine Shanahan secured a week’s work experience with the firm — and was offered a full-time paralegal job off the back of it.
Having started the role a month ago — a mere five days after graduating with what she hopes will be a first class law degree from Edghill University — Shanahan told the Careers Team about how landing full-time work in a law firm has changed her legal education plans.
Legal Cheek Careers: You were all set to do the LPC straight after uni — and then you went to our event with Fletchers. What happened?
Nadine Shanahan: “At uni we had it drummed into us that we MUST do the LPC straight away. But during the event the Fletchers solicitors on the panel told us this wasn’t necessarily the only, or best, option. I spoke with quite a few staff at the networking event and was advised to get as much work experience as possible and even get paralegal work before my LPC as a better option. We had never been advised this at uni.
“As a result I applied for work experience, interviewed and here I am today! I’ve decided to take a year out before my LPC because of the great advice from the event.”
How did you land the actual job?
“On the last day of the work experience, which was in the firm’s medical negligence department, I asked one of the managers if there were any full-time jobs available and then followed this up with a letter. A week later a got a call asking me to come to an interview.”
How did you fit all this in with revision for you finals?
“I was doing the work experience during the day and then revising in the evenings, and then I fitted in the interview between exams. It was tough but worth it.”
What has the last month been like?
“Great. I am working in the medical negligence ‘Tier 1’ claims team, where I request medical records from hospital doctors, draft witness statements and keep in contact with the client. I already have my own caseload. It has altered my perceptions of personal injury law, which I’d formed on the basis of the TV ads you see. Actually it’s all about empathy and connection with the clients, as Fletchers head of serious injury Adrian Denson explained in his article in Legal Cheek about his career.”
Is working in a law firm what you imagined?
“Much less serious than I had expected. Fletchers is a very friendly place to work, with social things always being organised.”
What are your plans for the future?
“I’d like to do the LPC next September part-time while continuing to work at Fletchers, and see where that takes me.”
Nadine Shanahan is a paralegal at Fletchers.