Welcome to the latest instalment of our ‘What I know now’ series, where qualified legal professionals share their thoughts on working in the legal sector, alongside some of the secrets of their success. Today, we’re catching up with Gordon Walker from Plexus Law.
Gordon is a partner in professional indemnity and risk at Plexus Law in Leeds. He trained with Walker Morris & Coles, moved to Denison Suddards in York and on to Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave. He’s been involved in the recruitment, supervision and development of lawyers at all levels (including NQs) for many years.
FIRST OF ALL, HELLO GORDON AND THANK YOU FOR CHATTING TO US TODAY. OUR FIRST QUESTION IS WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO TRAIN AS A SOLICITOR?
I changed to law when I didn’t like my English degree.
HOW WELL DID YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A TRAINEE PREPARE YOU FOR BEING QUALIFIED?
I found that the varied training background was useful.
DESCRIBE YOUR TRAINING PARTNER IN THREE WORDS.
WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE WHEN YOU WERE ADMITTED AND TOOK A FULL SOLICITOR ROLE?
The main thing I noticed was that support staff treated me differently.
WHAT MADE YOU CHOOSE THE AREA OF LAW YOU SPECIALISE IN?
I tossed a coin to choose between three contrasting directions. I was happy with the result being ‘heads’, so it was the right option.
COMPARED TO YOUR OWN EXPERIENCE, HOW SIMILAR OR DIFFERENT DO YOU PERCEIVE THE CHALLENGES FACING NQS TO BE IN 2019?
The experience of 2019 qualifiers is a world apart, and more difficult.
WHAT PIECE OF PRACTICAL ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS AT THE START OF THEIR LEGAL CAREER?
Make sure you don’t want to do something that allows you to earn capital.
WITH HINDSIGHT, WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU HAD KNOWN WHEN YOU WERE NQ?
That you need to be a salesman as well as a lawyer.
IF YOU WERE TO RECRUIT A LAWYER AT NQ LEVEL, WHAT WOULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU’D LOOK FOR?
Pragmatism, intellect, and the ability to have fun (ok, that’s three things).
WHAT IS YOUR BEST INTERVIEW TIP?
TO DATE, WHAT IS YOUR CAREER HIGHLIGHT?
Winning a £21 million claim.
WHAT IS THE FUNNIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU AT WORK
Being asked by the cleaners what they should do with the porn they found in a senior colleague’s office.
WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE ABOUT THE LEGAL PROFESSION?
I’d make all lawyers understand IT.
BESIDES BEING A LAWYER, IF MONEY WERE NO OBJECT AND YOU KNEW YOU COULDN’T FAIL, WHAT WOULD YOU MOST LIKE TO TRY TO DO?
I’d work in IT and make a fortune.
SUMMARISE YOUR EXPERIENCE OF LEGAL RECRUITERS IN FIVE WORDS OR LESS
Good ones don’t bullsh*t.
Thanks for your insights, Gordon, and for taking the time to talk to us today.