Equality and Diversity - meet our guest bloggers
A common theme emanating from our equality and diversity work is how important role models, and learning from other’s experiences are for our members, law students and others thinking of a career in law.
We are running a series of interviews with a wide variety of people sharing their career path and experiences.
Rosalind McInnes is Principal Solicitor at BBC Scotland
Length of post qualifying experience?
What was your route to qualifying as a solicitor?
LLB Honours, Dip LP, traineeship
Best piece of advice and/ or support you received during your career?
So much support and advice from so many people, thank God, but probably “Don’t go native”, ie preserve your professional detachment and your own integrity rather than adopting wholesale a client/company mindset.
What advice would you give to someone starting out on their path to qualifying as solicitor?
Carefully vet the CV of the line manager you’re going to work for: look at the firms they’ve been at before, how many of them are relative to the line manager’s stage and the state in which those firms now are. Also look at his/her departmental retention rate. I realise that junior solicitors desperately need jobs, but you don’t want to end up working for Typhoid Mary - those scars take a long time to heal. Also, if you’re not happy at work for at least half the time you spend there- not necessarily euphoric, but in Csikszentmihalyi’s “flow”- you need to make a change.
What was the greatest challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?
Lack of confidence. Mentorship has really helped to overcome this, as has simple time. It can be disillusioning to realise that no one, however experienced, has the omniscience that young lawyers might assume, but it’s also ignobly amusing to see how the scary powerful figures of one’s youth crash, burn or merely stall with age.
Have you faced any particular challenges as a woman in the profession, if so how did you overcome them?
What was the greatest success in your career?
Realising that I am actively happy - entertained, stimulated, enjoying the presence of my colleagues - at work most of the time. Maybe this is more luck than success.
What do you think will be the greatest challenge to the legal profession in the next 10 years?
Oversupply of lawyers and law firms coupled with downward pressures on fees against a background of such uncertainty about which passport we’ll have and what that will mean either way.
What do you think will provide the best opportunities for the legal profession in the next 10 years?
The continuing need for complex, courageous, creative advice, much of it from markets which we barely deal now.
We are talking to our members about career progression and the gender pay gap. To help shape what the Society can do please join the conversation and let us know your views.
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