My Legal Life

03 November 2022

As a shy 18-year-old college leaver I was rather daunted when I started working on the reception desk as a facilities apprentice at our Sherborne office.

I had only ever worked as a shop assistant before joining Battens and at that stage in my life I did not have any experience of office protocol and working with lawyers and teams of busy professionals and their clients.

It was a whole new world to me, I was given a variety of admin roles such as covering for secretaries in Yeovil, dealing with new enquires while working on reception before assisting the Private Client department. It gave me a real grounding in how the structure of Battens worked. I only started to cover for secretaries once I had started to assist Private Client.

At 18 I had never considered working in law, I had studied Health and Social Care at College, but I am so glad I started at Battens as I have been given so many opportunities, responsibilities, and a lot of encouragement to contribute to the company and to develop my career.

I am 23 now and work in the Private Client department at our office in Sherborne and I get so much job satisfaction from it and take pride in what I do. For some one of my age, it can be quite challenging as well as humbling, as we are working with clients who are sometimes quite vulnerable. Many are shouldering the devastating grief of losing a loved one and need so much empathy and understanding.

Many of the clients I work for are from a different demographic to me and I have learned to be patient, calm and sensitive to their needs. We aim to take away some of the stress of the situation by taking away the burden of dealing with all the administration and paperwork, so they have the space to grieve.

I am always touched when clients say how grateful they are for the work we do.

Many colleagues in Private Client have been so supportive and patient when I have doubted myself and have told me I am good at what I do.

I have been particularly inspired by my colleague in Residential Property, Jen Haynor, who like me started as an apprentice and is now a qualified Chartered Legal Executive. I have just started studying for my CILEx qualifications and I aim to have my own clients and files to work on.

2022 has been an amazing year for me as at 23 I have just bought my own house; I have no student debt and I am studying for my first legal exams with a great career ahead of me. I wished the shy 18-year-old on reception had known how it would turn out.