Name: Vidisha Joshi
Firm: Hodge Jones & Allen
Position: Managing partner
In Hot 100 for: Shaking up her firm as one of the youngest managing partners in the country, after the first leadership change at Hodge Jones & Allen in 40 years. Read her full profile here.
What’s your most vivid memory from being a trainee/pupil?
During my first week I spent what seemed like endless days in the office preparing trial bundles that were five lever arches per bundle and we needed seven bundles.
Add to that a temperamental photocopier and having to paginate by hand, after that everything was a piece of cake. My first main trainer/supervisor was Diana Lyall who despite being incredibly busy invested much time in me and for that I will always be grateful.
Who has been the most influential person in your career? Why and how have they helped you?
Patrick Allen, the co-founder and senior partner at Hodge Jones & Allen who has mentored me and given me fantastic opportunities to develop my career.
Patrick has shown real faith in me and offered unfailing support, not just when I’ve succeeded, but also when things haven’t gone to plan. It’s this support and guidance that has really helped me get to grips with the demands of being managing partner.
What was the best career decision you ever made and why?
Without question, accepting the role of managing partner at Hodge Jones & Allen. I was under no illusions, I knew it was going to be life changing and it has. I joined Hodge Jones & Allen because I fully believed in the firm’s ethos. We have a rich heritage of fighting for justice and I am passionate about becoming one of the guardians of that legacy. We have coped with intensifying competition and regulatory and funding changes and are stronger for it. Our highly analytical approach gives us insight into how our business runs and with it comes the ability to make well-informed decisions, while ensuring we remain relevant to the people whose rights we are fighting for.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to get to where you are/do the job you do?
Always work hard, nothing falls into your lap.
Believe in yourself no matter what.
Don’t wait for opportunities to find you, go out and create them, and most importantly don’t be afraid. If you don’t try, you’ll never know and from every failure comes a lesson.
What work or career related project would really like to do but don’t have time for?
I’m hugely passionate about encouraging young women in the legal sector and recently presented at a conference of the Law Society’s Junior Lawyers division about my approach to progressing in the profession.
There are plenty of challenges laid down by the profession for young lawyers, particularly young female lawyers from diverse backgrounds, so I want to do anything I can that helps build their confidence and tackles those challenges head on. If time was no object, I’d love to offer the kind of one to one mentoring that I offer some of the lawyers at Hodge Jones & Allen to female lawyers starting out on their careers.