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Q&A: Max Harris

9 September 2014

Max Harris works as a trainee solicitor at Baker & McKenzie LLP and is the vice chair of the Junior Lawyers Division.

How long have you worked at Baker & McKenzie LLP?

I started my training contract at Baker & McKenzie LLP in September 2012 and am due to qualify into the technology and commercial law group in September 2014.

You're talking to a friend of a friend at a party. How do you describe what you do?

We assist with the protection of our clients' brands, advise on the contractual terms of high value and / or complex commercial transactions, and provide advice on compliance with digital media, privacy and advertising rules.

What are you working on at the moment?

In the last rotation of my training contract, I am currently sitting in the intellectual property team, working on complex litigation. I also dedicate a great amount of time and effort to my role as vice chair of the Junior Lawyers Division of the Law Society of England and Wales.

What is the Junior Lawyers Division (the JLD)?

The official division of the Law Society which represents LPC students, paralegals who have completed the LPC, trainee solicitors and solicitors with up to five years PQE. We engage, advise and advocate on behalf of our 75,000 members.

What's the best thing about being vice chair of the Junior Lawyers Division?

The opportunity to make a difference, both within and outside of the legal sector. Being elected was a great privilege. We have fantastic events across the country that allow us to reach our members, and also get involved in important community projects.

What would you change about the Law Society, and how?

Both the Law Society and the JLD could do more to engage junior lawyers. The JLD has a number of high-profile events coming up that we hope will attract junior lawyers, and allow them to provide their input on issues that will affect them.

What was your first job?

During my university years, I used to buy and sell antique and modern wristwatches. I visited watch shows in countries around the world. As someone who loves watches, it was a great experience. I don't know where I found the time (bad joke, I know).

Share some great advice you've been given.

Never be worried by the seniority of people around you in a room. Without a doubt, learn from them. But, perhaps as importantly (and where appropriate), be part of the conversation. You don't have to be the most senior member of a team to have unique ideas.

What's in your desk drawers?

I think / hope absolutely nothing - I have never used them in my current office! For all I know, the entrance to Narnia could be in there.

Can you recommend a local lunch or coffee spot?

Until recently we had an amazing pasta place behind the office. Unfortunately, it closed down. I am now rigorously searching for a new local lunch spot.

How do you relax?

I try to relax by watching sports. Given that my team have a somewhat volatile track record, watching football does occasionally increase my stress levels! Cricket, on the other hand, does tend to be relaxing.

If you hadn't become a trainee solicitor, what would you have done?

While I would have loved to become an astronaut, I think the more likely alternative is that I would still be in the watch business. It would have been interesting to be a scriptwriter in the movie / television industry...

Sum up working as a trainee solicitor in one word.

Engaging.