Work-life balance: a…
Managing your personal and professional life can be challenging for anyone, but perhaps especially so if you have children. Mila Trezza outlines…
I was only just two years’ post-qualification experience by at the time I won the award and was already wearing several hats at the centre, having been there since May 2005.
My career progressed naturally, I would say. I do not think things would have been different for me if I had not won.
Because I stayed at the centre, I believe my career continued along a natural path.
There were opportunities to move on for higher remuneration and with better known organisations but, wanting to develop as an advocate within the voluntary sector, I opted to stay where I was.
After my win, there was an initial surge in demand for my time or direct input in things taking place in the legal world.
For example, I was asked to contribute to an article commenting on the erosion of legal rights, which coincided with the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.
I was also getting recognised in my own right outside of the centre’s well-established local reputation.
There were a few independent film producers who got in touch with the centre on specific aspects of our work. I do not think I would have been in a position to contribute had it not been for the award.
Being featured in the Law Society Gazette and The Voice newspaper, popular with the black community in the UK, were definitely highlights.
Being recognised by local groups and knowing my contributions to ideas tabled carried more weight, was an added bonus.
As the centre is initially free to access, there was an increase in telephone, email and at-the-door requests for me personally on a whole range of matters, from people not necessarily based in the UK.
This was simply because of the association with the award and the fact that law centres generally are free to use. This was as a direct result of the mention of the award and the work done by the centre in the press.
It is definitely an honour to be recognised in this way.
Remember that an award win is essentially acknowledgement of work and commitment that is, by that stage, part of history.
Initially, a lot more than this may be expected of winners, depending on the sector they are based in. The award won’t make you a better lawyer, but by default, you may find you have to become “better” in the eyes of those now looking more closely at you.
Greater credibility in the business (external validation of skills), recognition from the board and the senior management team, a high public profile, invitations to judge other awards, speaking opportunities, and an enhanced CV!
In addition to my role on the board, I have been integrated into the executive management team and report to the CEO. This allows me to have a greater strategic oversight and my role has also expanded to include risk, compliance and insurance.
I am also a part of the coronavirus crisis command group within the airport.
Being recognised as one of The Lawyer magazine’s “Hot 100” outstanding lawyers of 2018, delivering significant infrastructure and other projects valued in excess of £1bn.
Designing, drafting and rolling out a suite of standard contracts which have saved time and money in the procurement process.
Clearly tell the story of what you have done and how this is above and beyond the day-to-day work. I have also been a judge for the Excellence Awards.
Winning entries are ones that stood out for the amazing work carried out for their organisations.
Not very much difference! I was made redundant about a year after receiving the award (civil service cuts) and I haven’t had an in-house position since.
It’s difficult to assess whether the mention of the award on my CV impresses potential employers or puts them off!
I have had quite a few private practice jobs and have run my own business for a while, but I have never really settled in anything.
I am currently furloughed, but I am considering leaving my current position and working on a consultancy basis.
I think the win was my highlight!
Only one other to mention: advising a client that I acquired when running my own business (the client has stayed with me through various jobs for over seven years) in purchasing the freehold of part of a nuclear licensed site, including the first new nuclear site licence to be granted for 10 years.
Get some good support from your clients!