As 2019 draws to a close, we’ve sat down with some of the female employees at Linder Myers Solicitors to show just how much things have changed.
Until the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act came into force 100 years ago, women were not permitted to pursue a career in law. Despite being able to study for a law degree, it wasn’t until 1919 that this pivotal change was established, allowing women to enter the legal profession’s workforce.
Charlotte Keating is an associate solicitor in our Trusts and Estates department. Qualifying in 2014, Charlotte specialises in wills, estate planning and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
What made you want to work in the legal profession?
When I was 6 years old I was on a family holiday in Florida. I had always been drawn to large mansion-type houses and as we were walking down the street I spotted a house that I fell in love with. The house had a plaque with the name of the owner and underneath it stated attorney at law. At this point I asked my dad what that was and he explained. From then on I developed an interest in the legal profession and would watch documentaries and films that involved the legal profession and court cases. I became fascinated and would always say that I would be a lawyer when I grew up.
Although I spent time working in criminal law with the adversarial system, I developed a keen interest in private client work.
What do you think are the most important traits for a person to have to be successful in Law?
Dedication is really important as the training to qualify is a lengthy process and is continuous after you have qualified. The market is also very competitive.
In order to build good client relations and be true to the profession you also need to be genuine and honest. Depending on the area of law it can be easy to find yourself in tricky situations through no fault of your own and it is important that you can identify the situation and deal with it in the correct manner.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
I enjoy the estate planning aspect of my role the most. It allows me to meet with clients and consider their estates, wishes and complexities and work together with them to put planning in place to carry out their wishes whilst protecting their assets. Each person’s estate is different which provides a lot of variety and often there is a lot of different taxation matters that need to be addressed and considered.
What advice would you give to young women thinking of a career in Law?
I would advise them to research the different roles and entry routes within the legal profession and the different areas of law. I found that this was something that during your education you are not really provided with.
If it is something that they want to do then I would encourage them to take that step. Women have come along way in the legal profession and will continue to do so.Find out more about our Trusts & Estates department