THE UK MAGAZINE FOR ALL WOMEN WORKING IN LAW
Alice Hughes, trainee, has some tips for anyone starting out in the Legal World
First things first – embarking on a career in law is hard; it’s challenging; it’s tiring, but you can do it!
Ever since I was young, I have struggled with my mental health. I have had extreme anxiety and severe depression all in one. There have been days, where I did not think I could go on and days where I did not think I was good enough.
This does not make me ‘weak’ as most would see it. I see this as a strength within myself as I never give up, no matter how much my brain tries to convince me I should. I have continued to work hard to get to where I am today and will continue to do so.
Many people will not understand you in the big world of work, especially in a ‘dog eat dog’ vibe, common in the legal profession. This does not mean to say you are not capable of brilliant, amazing things because, trust me, you are.
However, it takes time.
If you are like me, you just want to know everything straight away but, of course, this is not going to happen. You will make mistakes, maybe many. This does not mean you cannot do your job; it means you are learning.
If you believe things are getting a little bit too much for you, just take a step back to reflect:
Take deep breaths
Sometimes, all it takes is a ‘time out’ from a piece of work to gather your thoughts. You may find that when you return, you have thought of a way to solve the problem.
Trust the learning process
You must allow yourself to learn, make mistakes and flourish as a person.
Ask for help
If it is something that you believe is too difficult to grasp - do not be afraid to ask someone more senior than yourself. Do not forget that they were once in your shoes and know exactly how you feel. A cliché but true. It is a circle and as you gain more experience, others will turn to you for help. We all have different experiences and what may seem easy to you, may not be for someone else.
Believe in yourself
The one thing that holds you back is not believing that you are capable. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to this. However, I have been chosen as a Trainee because management see potential and I will use this to help push myself forward. You are in your position because you have earned it.
If you struggle with your mental health, please do not believe that you cannot pursue a career in law. You can. It is all about finding out what helps you manage your work and your health. Time management is key.
You got this and you will achieve incredible things and look back at all your successes.
Wishing you all the best!