I attended the Law Society's recharger course in November 2017 when it was known as the returners’ course. It was fairly costly, due to it being held over two days as a residential course.
I’m a non-practising solicitor who was appointed a committee member of the Lawyers with Disabilities Division (LDD).
I was at a stage in my career where I was considering leaving the profession and was uncertain about what options were available to help me move forward.
I decided that I would attend this course. The invaluable career coaching and mentoring provided me with time to focus on me, reflect on what I would like to do and what my strengths are and be able to develop a goal-focused plan to get me closer to where I want to be.
As a disabled person with a progressive condition, I had been away from the traditional working environment for an extensive period.
I met various professionals including Rachel Brushfield and Lara Keenan who both facilitated invaluable modules on the recharger course.
I was encouraged by them as they were very practical and realistic in their style.
During the course, delegates received feedback on their CVs which had been submitted before the course started.
My CV mentor gave me tips regarding how to express myself more clearly and not to clutter the pages with irrelevant details.
I was able to begin rewriting my CV and making it more functional and specific for the future role I wanted.
The coaching and mentoring process provided during the course and the opportunity to continue with this (privately) helped me to revamp my CV and personal statements to a skills-based template that was tailored to be more compelling and effective especially as disabled person I wasn’t the archetypal candidate.
The course encouraged delegates to network, use of social media, especially LinkedIn profiles.
I finished the course excited and hopeful for the next stages of my career.
I remained in contact with other delegates and facilitators and this continuance has enhanced my confidence with looking for disability-confident employers and presenting my skills and talents gained from the volunteering that I have been involved with.
I would encourage everybody considering returning to law or changing practice areas to attend the course as it really valuable – especially in the uncertain climate that we are presented with and live in.
Being more confident has helped me achieve a variety of goals towards my career and beyond.
The course, for me, highlighted my strengths and how best to frame these skills, with the CV review session and mentoring by high profile legal professionals from diverse backgrounds.
My opinion is that inclusion of disabled lawyers in the legal sector opens the doors to an exchange of talents and making law accessible has never been more prevalent.
I encourage all our members, particularly those with disabilities to be at the forefront of the course.
Placida Ojinnaka is a Lawyers with Disabilities Division committee member.