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Magdalen College, United States
My academic background is in in politics. I graduated from Magdalen College, Oxford with a degree
in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, and went on to gain a master’s degree from SOAS in Middle
East Politics. I spent a great deal of my time at university working in theatres as a lighting designer
and production manager. After I graduated, I worked as an unqualified teacher at my old school – a
rural comprehensive in Cornwall of which I remain immensely fond – and then as an education worker
for a charity in west London. Through my work for the charity, and some voluntary campaign work, I
became aware of BWB’s excellent reputation in the charity sector, and particularly its expertise in
I first joined BWB as a paralegal in the Charity and Social Enterprise department, where I worked fulltime
initially, then part-time while I completed the GDL and LPC at BPP. My work focused on the
constitutional, governance and regulatory needs of charities and social enterprises, as well as
supporting fee earners in providing advice on charitable activities, trading, mergers and contracts. I
undertook work for an enormous range of charities, from small start-ups and trusts, to national and
international household name charities.
I started my training contract in August 2013 and my first seat was in the Immigration department. As
an absolute newcomer to this area of law, I was nervous before I started, but two things have helped.
Firstly, although the content is new, the skills learned at law school and through previous work as a
paralegal are very transferrable. Secondly, the expertise in the department is unparalleled; the
trainee is invited to attend meetings, listen to in-depth advice, discuss issues, conduct research and
generally get actively involved, working alongside people who are acknowledged experts in their field.
There is an emphasis on hands-on work and genuine learning, and little in the way of administrative
tasks. The process is educational and enjoyable.
The firm encourages collaborative work between departments. In November/December 2013 I helped
to organise a well-received seminar in collaboration with Bond, for charities working internationally in
high-risk situations. The seminar brought together solicitors from our Charity, Employment and Public
& Regulatory teams, along with speakers from Sayer Vincent, the Charity Commission, and charities
operating in the very difficult situation in Syria.
BWB is full of people who are friendly, interesting and welcoming. There are never-ending
opportunities to become involved in new and rewarding projects, both at work and outside of it. For
the last few years I have been a trustee of a theatre company, and through BWB I also joined the
board of a youth-led environmental charity. My work at BWB and my work as a trustee complement
each other, each providing skills and experience that can be used in both roles. Trusteeships are
encouraged and supported by the firm; this is symptomatic of their commitment to nurturing wellrounded
professionals who are actively engaged in their community. That is what attracted me to
BWB and it is something I continue to value highly.