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STRIDE in Dubai - Pinsent Masons secondment programme

Emma studied History and Politics at the University of York before she decided to take the law into her own hands and become a commercial lawyer. She has been a Property Solicitor at Pinsent Masons for 3.5 years and to further develop her skills and gain more exposure to working with international clients, Emma applied for our STRIDE programme in Dubai. You can find out more about her work in the interview below.

What made you apply for STRIDE?

STRIDE is a fantastic programme available for solicitors to go on short term secondments to other international offices within the Firm to experience working in another office and to promote connectivity between the offices. I wanted to get some experience of working within another jurisdiction and complete international work.

Dubai seemed a fantastic choice for Property, due to the large-scale development and investment in the city and the enterprising environment. In Dubai, the Property team provide specialist advice to all organisations with real estate requirements, such as government bodies, universities, contractors, manufacturers, retailers, hotels and leisure businesses and other corporate occupiers.

Can you tell us more about the differences and similarities between the two offices?

The main similarity is the people – everyone is friendly, approachable and hard-working. The main difference is the weather! The offices are also different sizes, so the teams in the Dubai office are typically smaller.

Can you tell us more about the work you currently do in Manchester? 

As a Property Solicitor, I complete Development & Investment work for both private and public sector clients, ranging from corporate investors and occupiers to local authorities. My team often works on large-scale, cross-office transactions for our clients who normally have national portfolios.
We often get a chance to collaborate with colleagues across the UK and work in the other offices which helps develop a wider network of contacts.  Working across the offices and sharing our expertise means we can provide a seamless service to our clients, regardless of their location.

Was the Training Contract everything you expected?

It was very different experiencing the law in practice compared to how you learn about it in law school. The demands and expectations in every seat were different, so you need to be adaptable and open-minded each time you move departments.

Do you have any tips for choosing the area of law to qualify in?

Choose early on whether you’re interested in transactional work or contentious work (you should be able to tell which suits you), then you can focus on selecting the area that you enjoy the most.  Personally, I enjoy the tangible nature of Property – it is rewarding to work on transactions and see the result of your hard work at the other end.

If you could send a message to your student-self, at the time when you were starting your career in law and applying for placements and training contracts, what would your advice be?

Be open-minded and realistic, the areas of law that you study at law school might not be the areas that you enjoy the most in practice.

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