|Paralegal (Future Trainee Solicitor)|
|Hadef & Partners (joining DLA Piper in 2021)|
|United Arab Emirates|
More about Senal
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A day in the life of a Paralegal (Future Trainee Solicitor) in the United Arab Emirates
Try not to fall into the trap of following what everyone else seems to be doing and focus on yourself early on.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
I am currently a paralegal for the Engineering and Construction group of a law firm based in the UAE and I have secured a training contract with DLA Piper to start in 2021.
What do you do?
As a paralegal, my role primarily involves making a lawyer's life easier by helping them out with heavy tasks. Realistically, this usually involves taking on basic tasks such as carrying out document reviews or assisting first drafts of advice notes.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
After graduation and having secured a training contract, I had to take a year out before beginning my LPC. In regard to the decision making that led to my career choice, a lot of influence came from applying for work experience opportunities early on. I also tried meeting with lawyers who were down to earth and genuine enough to talk about the realities of what working as a solicitor would be like.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Describe your most memorable day at work
When I was still quite new to the office, I was asked to give a presentation on a complex topic to my entire team which included a few senior lawyers. Needless to say, the nerves were working overtime. However, on the day of the presentation, I realised that I had nothing to worry about because my team was incredibly down to earth, and while they did not shy away from asking brutal questions, they were also very supportive. That day I learnt that I really had nothing to be nervous about and that my colleagues were ruthless sweethearts.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
The work culture is certainly professional, however, there is certainly a culture of approachability and friendliness that makes the firm a great place to work in.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
I joined the York Law Society as Webmaster and Treasurer to get my foot in the door of and expose myself into new responsibilities. I also played in a few sports teams including basketball and the law society's football team. In general, I mostly developed communication and leadership skills along with problem-solving when it came to my role in the law society.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Take the time to really consider what your goals are, what you really wish to gain from your career and whether your current path is constructive towards your goal. Try not to fall into the trap of following what everyone else seems to be doing and focus on yourself early on. Push yourself out of your comfort zone as often as you can and don't be too hard on yourself if things do not turn out the way you expected.
If you like the look of Senal’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Senal a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Senal to be your mentor.