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My Career Journey

By 14 December 2023No Comments

We hear from Simi Ogunsola who works as an Executive Assistant to the Chief Compliance officer and the General Counsel at Norton Rose Fulbright, the firm where she began her legal career ten years ago when she took part in their PRIME work experience.

What difference did your PRIME work experience placement make to you?
It was the confidence builder I needed. It was my first time being in a large, global law firm so of course it was a little daunting. Once that shock wore off and the week of work experience was completed, I was able to really think about all we had learnt that week and the people we met and truly understood how valuable that experience was. With hard work anything is achievable, no matter your background – I felt confident that with hard work and remaining focused, I could eventually work in a firm like Norton Rose.

What was the best part of your work experience and why?
The best part was being around so many like-minded students. We all really wanted to put our best foot forward so all the group projects, presentations and group discussions were thought-provoking. I learnt a great deal from the other students. Another part I really enjoyed was shadowing an associate – practical experience of seeing her workload day in/day out really helped shape my understanding of what a career in law looks like.

What does being an Executive Assistant at a Law Firm in involve?
As an EA for the Chief Compliance officer and the General Counsel my role is to actively contribute, support and coordinate their day to day to tasks and all ongoing projects either have. A natural addition of supporting both partners is supporting their teams and recognising their needs. I support lawyers and counsel at a range of levels, so my work is full of variety. A key aspect of my role is being adaptable and meeting the current needs and demands of the partners whether it be preparing for presentations, conferences, or reports. To keep my work sleek and versatile within the virtual landscape we find ourselves in now, I am always finding a way to use new technologies – (hello AI!)

What did you know about the legal industry before you joined Norton Rose?
I knew that the legal industry was vast, it was extremely fast paced and required a lot of work but at the same time was extremely rewarding. Beyond that, admittedly, I did not know much and so working at Norton Rose now there have been challenges as I am learning more about the industry.

What words of motivation do you have for a school student thinking about the law as a career?
Research, Drive & Network. Those are my words of motivation for any school student thinking about a career in law. Research all the options and paths that are available to you, the legal industry is an ever-changing one, there is not just one path, or one type of role so look into what works for you and what highlights your strengths. Have drive, being a student and trying to figure everything out is difficult and daunting but remain driven and do not give up even during trying times. Network with people you meet at events and nurture these relationships – they may open you up to new opportunities.

What do you wish you had known before starting your career in Law?
Before starting a career in Law, I wish I had known about utilizing all the opportunities available to students as that may have made starting my legal career easier. I also wish I had known about the power of having a mentor, someone in Law who had experience and knowledge on routes, paths, and of course, the difficulties and how to overcome them.

To me, working in a law firm is….
Exciting, busy, and challenging. Every day is different, and you’re met with new challenges, but I appreciate being kept on my toes as experience is always the best teacher. It is also really vibrant, and you meet and work with different people which exposes you to different paths of life.