Mallorie Sullivan, a trainee at Perth & Kinross Council is originally from Boston, MA, USA. She came to Scotland in 2005 and went on to obtain her Law degree from Edinburgh Napier University and later her Diploma from Glasgow University.
Coming from Boston to study in Scotland, I was immediately drawn to the mystique of the legal profession in Scotland, and wanted to find a way to become a small part of its history and traditions. After graduation, I spent some time applying for positions in Glasgow and Edinburgh without finding a suitable placement. I hadn’t thought of looking outside the two major cities until I came across an advertisement online for a position in Perth. I was delighted to discover that it not only offered all the amenities of a larger city set in a rural part of Scotland, but also a thriving and diverse legal community in a centrally placed location. Perth is not only the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’ but also only one hour from Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Stirling.
Working in-house for Perth & Kinross Council, I have been able to develop my practice within a welcoming and supportive environment, alongside a team of knowledgeable solicitors with many years of experience in their respective fields. Perth has the distinct advantage of being home to a smaller legal community, which gave me the opportunity to develop strong professional relationships with colleagues across the city, and to work with a varied client base in both urban and rural areas. My co-workers have also been very tolerant of my constant butchering of Scottish place names!
As a trainee, I’ve had the opportunity to gain extensive court experience, appearing in Perth Sheriff Court on a weekly basis. This is the best part of working for the Council, and is a real advantage compared to corporate traineeships. Before I started my placement, I never could have guessed how comfortable I would become arguing the law in front of the Sheriffs in real high-stakes situations. But the approachable fellow solicitors and staff have made that daunting process much easier with their practical advice and encouragement.
Working for the Council provides you with excellent benefits and an unmatched work-life balance. It also is the best way to get a real education in Scots law, as you will see first-hand what problems Scottish citizens face when interacting with the legal system. In short, there are fantastic opportunities to advance your career alongside talented and supportive colleagues outside the big cities. It is something that I would definitely recommend.