Emma O’Day is Head of Marketing at Cashroom. In this blog, she explores where her degree took her after graduating and deciding not to pursue a career as a solicitor.
I’m Emma and I have been at Cashroom for almost 10 years now – an extremely long time when in-fact I came here as a law student just to fund my diploma year all those years ago!
Let me rewind to 2006 when I left school to study Biochemistry at Glasgow University. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I left school, but I loved science and wanted to escape the small borders town I was brought up in so off I went. It was during this degree that I completed a module in Forensic Science and was fascinated by the law and the fact it was a degree with a fixed job title at the end of it which my Biochemistry didn’t have. I graduated with my BSc and embarked on the post-grad law degree. I also absolutely loved the life of being a student so holding onto that for a bit longer was always positive for me too!
Whilst looking for a traineeship I knew I wanted to get some work experience and I was lucky with my haul. Over my two-year accelerated LLB I worked at my university law clinic, I spent a year researching family law for one of my lecturers and got a shout out in his family law textbook, I completed a manic summer programme at Dickson Minto, an insightful placement at criminal law firm Aamer Anwar & Co amongst other law firm placements. I thoroughly enjoyed all of them and learnt a lot from some wonderful lawyers, but I still didn’t really know what I wanted. I eventually snagged myself a commercial traineeship which was waiting for me in 2014, the year after I would complete my diploma at a commercial Edinburgh firm, it seemed to be the next step to take.
To fund my diploma, I started working at Cashroom. It was a small business at the time with under 10 clients and they provided legal accounting and book-keeping to law firms – I thought it would be useful for me to learn about this side of a law firm and it might be a way to meet potential employers! Whilst I was there David Calder joined as MD, he had previously set up his own law firm with colleagues MBM Commercial and he had plans to grow Cashroom and provide outsourced cashiering services to firms all over the country. This was when the job started to get exciting, the company started to grow.
I stopped doing cashier work and began working alongside David. We developed a website for Cashroom, we went out to conferences and events, I project manged an office move and a did a bit of contract work. Looking over client contracts became the most boring part but being part of an innovative growing business was exciting! A few months before I was due to begin my traineeship, I knew a job opportunity was also available for me at Cashroom and I made the decision to stay.
In my almost 10 years at Cashroom we have had a complete brand re-design, gone from six to 90 employees, social media marketing has taken off, we have opened other offices and branched into England and Wales. During my time I have joined the Charted Institute of Marketing and obtained a diploma in Marketing and Communications. I also managed to fit in getting married and having my three children; I am navigating the work-life balance so many of us worry about. I love marketing and I love working within the legal profession.
Marketing is ever changing; at the moment social media and video marketing is the current trend and I have to keep on my toes constantly and continue to learn. The continued development and learning are parts I love about it, and I think that is why I have been able to stay with one company for so long, because a job in marketing is always evolving.
I also love the social side of it! Although not this year, part of my year is normally being out at conferences and events, talking to law firms, to other businesses which provide support to law firms and researching current hot topics for the industry – anything that might help us add value to our clients’ businesses.
I also love to write and so being able to write blogs and edit content is something I enjoy. Our business development team is made up of lawyers with two of my colleagues having run their own firms and another has years of experience practising – we are invested in the profession because we know what it is like to be in it.
I am also part of driving and promoting the Cashroom culture group. We have values where we award and nominate staff, we have had social events even through lock down (over zoom of course!) and we encourage activities such as our daily mile for mental wellbeing. Cashroom is a great place to work.
I remember joining Cashroom as a student and being totally blindsided by the work the legal cashiers did and the accounting rules – I had not been trained in any of this and neither are any lawyers. I love that we help firms run better, we make them more efficient and allow lawyers to do what they do best. 10 years ago, I probably didn’t even understand what marketing was, but my law degree opened the door for me
My advice now is even if you have your heart set on becoming a specific type of lawyer, go and get us as much experience with different types of firms as you can. You would be amazed at what other options there are outside the core subjects we study at university. Do I sometimes wonder what it would have been like to take that traineeship and practise now? Yes of course, but I love marketing and would highly recommend it to those with a law degree.
If anyone wants to chat then please feel free to find me on LinkedIn.