Along with Berwins, I was also an idea that came to fruition in 1986 and so I am able to say that we share the same 30th birthday this year. Looking back over my last 30 years it has gone a little bit like this:-
Phase one. Age 0 – 18. The school years.
Little to report at this stage other than a light bulb moment when I realised I might just fancy myself as a solicitor or a barrister, given my talent for talking and arguing a good point. First life mission; get into a university.
Phase two. Age 18 – 22. The university years.
Fully satisfied that my first life mission had gone well, I landed myself in Manchester at university ready to change the world. Three years changed all that. It swiftly dawned on me that it wasn’t just about choosing whether to be a solicitor or barrister but that we had to fall in love with an area of law that we would live and breathe for our whole careers. I am told by the old school generation that back in the 80’s being a solicitor meant you could write a Will, deal with a house purchase, sort a divorce and bring an action against anybody you fancied all in one go. Thankfully times have moved on and in today’s practice you generally stick to one area of expertise to ensure you stay in fine tune with the ever changing world of law.
Phase three. Age 22 - 27. To be or not to be.
Four years of studying. Key decisions about my career path made and geared to change the world again (in a more focused way). Just one thing in my way…..a training contract with a law firm which is a little bit like finding Willy Wonker’s golden ticket, even when you’re not in the middle of an economic crash. To pass the time I completed a master’s degree (LLM), tried my hand at being a paralegal, and eventually gave up hope and applied to join the Army and the Police. A knock at my door came when I least expected it from a seed I planted many moons before. I was offered a training contract and qualified into an area I knew was meant for me. Life mission complete; or was it?
Phase four. Age 28 to 30.
Rather than stop there, like all other private client solicitors who want to provide the best service to their clients I embarked upon my second postgraduate diploma so I could join the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). This involved four gruelling exam papers on the administration and taxation of estates and trusts, and I would like you all to keep everything crossed for me that I have passed my final exam (result next month!), so I can be proud to say that I managed to qualify as a Trust and Estate Practitioner all before I am 30 (just).
P.S. I fully intend to take the course to join the Association of Contentious Trusts and Specialists (ACTAPS) next because let’s be honest, to provide a great service to clients, the learning really never stops.
Written by Hollie Marcham of Berwins Solicitors.