Employee Story: Anne Saunderson
As part of our articles series, Employee Story, our colleagues share their experiences and path into law and their role at Fosters.
Former Fosters’ trainee, Anne Saunderson qualified as a solicitor back in 2020 and joined our busy Medical Negligence & Inquests team as a full-time lawyer.
Anne came to law later in her career, having previously worked extensively in the financial services sector, and she tells us about her slightly different journey into the legal profession.
What has been the hardest aspect of switching careers into the legal profession?
Having forged a successful career in the IT and financial services sectors, it was both frustrating and a shock to realise that most application processes for vacation schemes and training contracts rely on A-level results to filter candidates. It was tough realising that my future worth was potentially being judged on some poor exam results from over 30 years ago, without reference to anything I had achieved since! As a result, I had to find other ways to get access to the legal profession and I would urge anyone in my position to exercise your networking skills and above all be persistent – the competition for jobs in law is fierce.
How has your pre-legal experience helped?
Good time management and managing client expectations are key components of a solicitor’s role. My previous career, particularly in project management, has meant these are not new skills I need to learn – the subject matter might be different, but the techniques are the same. Having these skills has enabled me to contribute value more quickly and focus on developing my legal knowledge.
What have you enjoyed most/least about joining the legal profession?
I get great satisfaction from being able to use my intellect and skills to make a positive difference in the lives of clients. The least enjoyable aspect is having to give bad news to a client.
What advice would you give someone in your position?
Entering the legal profession is tough and needs serious commitment. I undertook my LPC and PSC part-time while also working my training contract full-time. There were times where juggling family responsibilities, while studying and working became extremely challenging and it is important that you have the right support mechanisms in place to make it possible, which includes having a supportive employer. One of the aspects I really appreciated at Fosters is the fact trainees are given study days to take in addition to holiday entitlement, which really helped me to balance all the competing demands in my work and home life.
Ultimately, you will need drive, determination and passion for the law to pursue a legal career, but the results are incredibly rewarding and worthwhile.