27 February 2023

Can you tell us a bit about how your career has developed over time and how you got to where you are today?

After completing my A Levels, I commenced a caseworker role at the Legal Aid Agency. It wasn’t long after that I returned to education, on a part-time basis, with the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives and did so whilst continuing to progress in my role with the Legal Aid Agency. Upon nearing completion of the CILEX Level 6 Diploma in Law and Practice course, I took up a paralegal role in the family department of a Bristol firm. I qualified as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (FCILEX) in 2011, specialising in family law. I enjoyed a career break from 2017 until 2021, during which I spent the time mainly being ‘mum’ and focused on my family.

I joined Burges Salmon in 2021 as an assistant Legal Project Manager and since this time I have gained invaluable experience working across multi-disciplinary teams implementing Legal Project Management tools and techniques to legal matters, enhancing efficiencies in the running of high profile and complex matters. In April 2022, I was promoted to Legal Project Manager and I have very recently completed the Association for Project Management (APM) Project Management Qualification course. I love the fact that I am able to use my legal experience and skills from my practising days in my current role, whilst still learning every day and still having that feeling of being part of a legal team.

What does success mean to you?

Success has a number of meanings to me; happiness, pride and accomplishment. Ultimately success is achieving what you set out to do, whether as an individual or as part of a team. 

Has this always been your view of success, or has it changed?

It has definitely changed over the years. Before, success was achieving the typical milestones such as good exam grades, passing your driving test, getting the job. Now, I feel successful if I go to shop and remember everything I need to get! Joking aside, over the years I have come to realise that success comes in all shapes and sizes and it is important to celebrate and take pride in all forms of success.

What would you class as the biggest achievement in your career so far?

My most recent achievement has to be being part of a high profile Public Inquiry. I was seconded for five months to work with the Secretariat of the Inquiry, as part of their Planning team, to set up processes, structures and relationships for the large scale, high profile Inquiry. The experience has been invaluable to me both personally and career wise and the experience definitely had a positive contribution to the completion of my Project Management Qualification!

How about a time when you felt less than confident?

Home schooling my 4, 9 and 11 year olds during the first national lockdown. It w

as hands down one of the hardest jobs I have ever done and made me question myself in ways I never thought I could! I can’t say the experience was any better the second time around, but we all learnt so much from it and have grown as individuals and as a family unit.

Can you share anything funny or embarrassing that happened in the early stages of your career?

I was quite heavily pregnant and representing a client at Court. I had had a wardrobe malfunction that morning and couldn’t find a top to wear under my suit that would cover my huge bump. Having settled on the best option, I put it on quickly and left for court. After spending considerable time with my client (but luckily before we went before the Judge), she kindly informed me that my top was on inside out!

What is your top tip for success?

Believe in yourself – you can do it!

And finally….what career advice would you give your 21 year old self?

Don’t be shy, speak out and don’t accept less than your worth.


This article was written by Gemma Wyatt, a member of BBalanced, our people-led gender balance network.

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Chris Jenkinson Resourcing Business Partner

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