Rachael Delaney is a trainee solicitor at Blackadders LLP, Dundee and a Lawscot Foundation student mentor

What inspired you to become a lawyer?

A teacher recommended that I study law after I had managed to reach the final of a debating competition during my third year in high school. At the time, I was not sure what studying law entailed, so after doing some research I decided that the course looked very interesting and set my heart on pursuing a career in law. As soon as I started studying law, I knew I had made the right decision and I’ve never looked back.

What made you choose your present department?

As soon as I began my traineeship in our Private Client department, I realised very quickly that this was the department I wanted to work in. There is a great balance between meeting clients and having the opportunity to develop a relationship with them, and varied and challenging drafting. Guardianships, in particular, are very interesting, and being able to assist families in what is often a difficult time is something which I find very satisfying. This has also inspired my involvement with PAMIS (Promoting a More Inclusive Society), a local charity who support those with profound and multiple learning difficulties.

What keeps you busy outside of work?

While work keeps me busy, I love to bake and take my creations to the office for the team to share. I also often continue my charity work in my free time. In addition, I enjoy swimming and participated in a “Swimarathon” earlier this year for charity.

What has been the highlight of your traineeship?

The opportunity to mentor one of the Lawscot Foundation students is both a highlight and a privilege. It’s great to be able to give something back and Laura is an inspiration. Winning an award with my team for our Dragon’s Glen entrepreneurial fundraising challenge (to raise money for the charity Children 1st) was fantastic and a great reward for lots of hard work, and having raising £1,500 for PAMIS I was extremely proud to be invited to join the board of trustees. Although I was initially concerned about my inexperience, I am passionate about supporting the charity in any way I can and I know that I will learn a lot along the way.

What is your top tip for new lawyers?

My advice would always be to remember that you are just that, a new lawyer and not expected to know everything. It is important to work hard, but also know that you are there to learn. Never be afraid to ask questions (however often!), as asking is the best way to learn. Mistakes are inevitable, but how you deal with and learn from them is much more important.

What is the main problem you see as facing the legal profession?

The job of a lawyer is often a very busy and challenging one. While very rewarding, it is important to ensure that a healthy work-life balance can be struck. One of the biggest challenges to the legal profession is creating a flexible environment to allow staff to have a good work-life balance and continue to provide excellent service to clients, and as part of this, a greater awareness of stress and its impact on staff and how to deal with this, together with a more open discussion regarding mental health.


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