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Eve Cornwell explains why she ‘quit dream job’ as magic circle lawyer

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‘My heart was never fully in it’

Eve Cornwell

Legal YouTuber Eve Cornwell has shared the reasons why she quit her “dream job” as a high-flying Linklaters lawyer, telling followers “my heart was never fully in it”.

Cornwell made headlines last month when she announced on LinkedIn she was stepping away from fee-earning just four months after qualifying as a solicitor at the magic circle law firm to instead join its legal tech practice as a product manager.

In a vlog trending at #12 when posted to her channel on Saturday, Cornwell reflects on the last two months in her new role, telling viewers: “I’m incredibly happy, I absolutely love it. It’s without a doubt the best decision I made for myself.”

Yet, Cornwell begins the vlog by saying that she really enjoyed her training contract at Linklaters. “I don’t know whether people are expecting me to say that,” she says, adding: “I feel extremely grateful for the incredible lawyers I was surrounded by, mentored by, trained by. I have complete gratitude and zero regrets.”

But the 24-year-old ‘lawfluencer’ goes onto explain that she secured her training contract at the age of 19 when she was in the second year of her law degree at Bristol University. “That’s five years difference. You see a lot of change and a lot of evolution and growth in five years. Your priorities from what you want from a career and a job are very different and that’s completely normal.”

She adds:

“I thought I was an okay lawyer but I didn’t think I was the best by any means… I enjoyed my job and it was okay but I didn’t think I’d ever be the best lawyer and I think that was just because my heart was never fully in it.”

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Cornwell also explains in the tell-all vlog that she’s struggled with her mental health in the past two years owing to the coronavirus pandemic. “I literally spent more weeks in therapy than out of therapy… [It was] a very dark time,” she says. “I’m a very extroverted person; I gain so much energy from being around people and so being alone and isolated for such long periods did a lot of damage.”

“It made me really realise what makes me the happiest and what I get the most fulfilment from,” she continues in the vlog which is nearing 200,000 views. “And for me, one thing I realised I absolutely couldn’t compromise on was having a creative outlet.”

During her training contract Cornwell went on secondment to Linklaters’ in-house legal tech start-up which she describes as the first time she was able to put her creative energy and spirit into a role. “I felt so passionate and I would just like think all the time and it would get me up in the morning,” she says. “I just felt so electric about this job.”

Despite eventually finding her “calling”, Cornwell says she was “absolutely terrified” to leave legal practice because she had “invested so much time” into qualifying as a solicitor. But she soon realised that a large proportion of the skills and training she received were “transferable” to any future job she might have.

Cornwell started her YouTube channel in 2013 and has since amassed over 375,000 subscribers and 23.8 million views sharing her exploits in law.

She finishes the video by explaining that she found it hard to walk away from her lawyer career as she had “attached so much pride and ego” to it. “I’ve shared a lot of my journey about becoming a lawyer online and it’s become pretty synonymous with my online brand… I moved towards a very heavy branded way of saying ‘law law law’,” she reflects. “I feel like I’m somehow letting a lot of people down.”

She then wraps up by telling viewers to expect content focused on her in the year ahead.

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