Rowberry Morris, Solicitor, criminal, Birmingham
Career Change Story
After graduating from Cardiff University with an LLB in Law and Criminology in 2006, I decided to undertake my Legal Practice Course (LPC) and train to become a solicitor. In 2007, I completed the LPC and began my training contract with Rowberry Morris. My training was at the height of the recession so I was unable to undertake any transactional seats.
After qualification in 2009, I began to specialise in criminal litigation. I went on to become a duty solicitor and thereafter undertook my Higher Rights examinations to become a solicitor advocate. I was fortunate enough to really enjoy the work I did. There were good days and bad days: I suppose being on call all night and then heading into work first thing to represent someone was tough but getting a great result for something you truly believe in can't be beaten.
In 2013, the government announced more plans to cut legal aid in a way that would affect the justice system dramatically. While I enjoyed the work I did, the red tape was increasing and justice was at risk of being prejudiced by cost efficient working. This didn't sit easy with me. The environment in which I was working was changing and I was unsure of where my future would lie.
I didn't want to start again from the bottom of the ladder and realised that if I wanted a successful future then I would need to consider my options.
A couple of my friends had worked in recruitment in London and I was impressed by the fast-track career progression and autonomous work environment that Michael Page offered. I joined as a consultant in March 2014, and with a legal background, made the natural move into legal recruitment.
Career Change Reflections
Although it was nerve-wracking starting a new career and being bottom of my game, so to speak, I soon realised I had made the right decision. I immediately enjoyed the freedom of taking ownership of my own desk and relished the sense of achievement I got from managing an end-to-end process. My legal background has proven invaluable, as it means I can easily relate to both my candidates and clients. My knowledge of legal terminology, along with my knowledge of the ways and pressures of the profession, has enabled me to gain the trust and respect of those in the industry.
One of the most important things I've learnt in my time at Michael Page is that even though I chose to divert from my original career path, the skills I gained during my time as a solicitor have impacted greatly on my career in recruitment. As a solicitor I was used to dealing with people from all backgrounds and of all standings. I had to negotiate on a daily basis and I had to be comfortable advocating. In criminal law, I had to be creative with what I was doing or saying and look for solutions outside of the box. These are all things I still do on a daily basis but in a different situation.
One of the unique advantages of this industry is that you can utilise your personal strengths and diverse experiences to fuel your success.
I would urge anyone in search of a challenge and progressive career development to consider a career in recruitment at Michael Page.