The Lawyer Africa Elite 2014 features an in-depth look at 46 leading independent firms’ strategies in 15 key sub-Saharan jurisdictions, as well as the views of in-house counsel from some of Africa’s largest companies... Read more
This year, The Lawyer’s annual ranking of the largest UK law firms by turnover is available as an interactive, digital benchmarking tool. For the first time this will allow you to manipulate each data set against the metrics of your choice.
With the habitual increase in tuition fees, the ever decreasing trainee placements and the sudden prospect of LPC entrance exams, it seems the illustrious path to becoming a lawyer is fast becoming a narrow sidewalk.
Add this to the fact that you were not private school educated, that you will have to beg a loan from the student loan company to keep you in education and that you happen to belong to those classed as ‘ethnic’ (don’t fear, positive discrimination is finally here…?!), your vehicle down the narrow sidewalk to becoming a lawyer has already sustained many a scratch and bump.
But one’s future lies not at the mercy of those other scooters (because cars cannot drive down narrow sidewalks, my learned friend!) Rather it lies at the driver and the fuel of yours. Getting to ones destination requires the constant ponder of ‘Why?’, the reaffirming of intentions (whether for the juicy pay cheques, for the need to change the world, or anything in between!) and a firm understanding of the importance of grasping opportunities whenever they appear.
Apathy can be fast to set in and will be a constant fight up to the last moment. This, alongside refraining from the desire to slip into Youtube junkie mode, when you have 35 pages of case law to read for a 9am seminar, will keep you questioning your priorities. It may seem like an unimportant choice in the moment (usually resulting in the win of Youtube), but when you realise your fellows were driving full force forward last night rather than taking an elongated pit-stop, harsh realities start hitting home.
Be not entirely dismayed. Anyone can lose determination or doubt their self esteem. But when the scooter crashes, it takes the truly ambitious to fix up and continue on the journey.
Don’t forget the importance of communicating with the other scooter riders through the narrow side street to Lawyerdom. A smile goes a while and being humble never hurt anyone. Remember that these faces you may see down the line, long after you’ve upgraded from scooter to motorcycle and you will wish you have given a simple wave back then when it mattered.
And even if you reach the end of your drive and all the scooter parking places are taken, don’t stay heartbroken, rather be rest assured that you were in the race for the long term benefit. No one likes circling the parking lot only to find a parking place with a 20 minute walking distance, but it is always worth considering the bigger picture. Think of all those who you may bump into on your 20 minute refreshing walk to Lawyerdom, while those who got there first may not have got the fresh air, nor the street networking. Remember, it is a journey, not a race.
When you understand this at the onset and remind yourself along the way, then trying hard won’t seem like a burden but a joy and attaining the dream won’t seem so hard to reach anymore.
In the meantime, get a good road-trip companion and enjoyyour drive!