We spoke to Alex Goodman, Paralegal in our Planning and Environmental Team, to find out what drew him to a career in law, what he most enjoys about his role, and what his career aspirations are.
What drew you to a career in law?
I have wanted to be a lawyer since I was about 16. Technical arguments and the fact that a minor technical distinction could have massive consequence is exciting to me. I also really like that the law is like a careful but living and active debate.
How did you gain the skills you needed to get a role in law?
The skills that I gained at Exeter university, both from my degree in Law and my involvement in societies, such as the Debating Society, helped me develop and start my journey. It's these experiences, combined with my research into law firms and interest in the law, that led me to obtain my role at Foot Anstey. Before Foot Anstey, my legal experience was mostly work experience in high street law firms.
What do you most enjoy about your role?
Every day I am faced with new tasks, each with unique considerations and challenges, which makes my job exciting and challenging. From developers, to landowners, banks and Councils – the amazing range of clients at Foot Anstey has given me a fascinating insight into the construction industry (which planning is mainly concerned with). Each client has their own business needs and goals, and it's been fascinating understanding how to provide solutions in response to these needs.
What advice would you give to others looking to start a career in the law?
My advice is to get involved with as many things as you can, especially while at university – a variety of experiences is valuable to law firms.
The best way to find out about what it's like to be a solicitor is to go networking events, attend online talks and research the law firms you are interested in. Find out about the clients of those firms and what sort of challenges they face as your role as lawyer will be to help find the solutions!
Gaining experience in a law firm where possible is also invaluable. My paralegal role is giving me first-hand experience of what it is like to work in a law firm. I am developing my knowledge and understanding of the law in practice, getting insight into what it takes to be a good solicitor, and getting a better idea of what I enjoy and where my career might take me.
What are your career aspirations?
Ultimately, my aim is to earn a training contract and become a qualified solicitor. I am keeping an open mind on which area of law I would like to qualify into. However, I am enjoying my role working in environmental law so far. It is a rapidly evolving and vitally important area which will produce a lot of challenges for clients in the future. So, a practise area with an environmental focus to it is something I am particularly interested in.
To find out more about Foot Anstey and the roles on offer please visit https://www.footanstey.com/careers/search/ or find out more about our trainees here https://www.footanstey.com/in-focus/become-a-trainee/.