Lucy Begbie is a paralegal with a passion for commercial law and has given her early career an early boost through Vario Flexible Services.
From a brief meeting with a family friend, who also happened to a Pinsent Masons partner, a 10 year old Lucy had expressed an interest in a legal career; “I distinctly remember telling her ‘I’m going to become a lawyer!’” Lucy recalls vividly.
After her compulsory education, Lucy graduated from the University of Strathclyde with Dual Qualified Scots & English LLB Degree. Immediately after which, she started an international internship with Pinsent Masons based in Hong Kong. “This experience was life changing and cemented my passion for commercial law. I loved working with new people across a variety of projects including construction and employment law. The legal profession provides a great opportunity to connect with a mix of people from different backgrounds and industries therefore I am constantly challenged and learning which I really enjoy” Lucy explains.
"I'd highly recommend becoming a Vario flexible consultant. At any stage in your career this is a great way to be a part of interesting projects."
After her exciting internship abroad, Lucy returned to the UK to study her LPC conversion course at the University of Law. Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19 pandemic she was forced to complete her studies remotely from her home rather than on campus. However, despite this, Lucy was still able to achieve a distinction on her LPC course.
By the time Lucy had completed her LPC, the pandemic and resulting lockdowns were in full swing. It was certainly not the ideal time for a paralegal to try and secure valuable legal work early in their career. “I applied for approx. over 80 positions, which was a mix of freelance and traditional employment route. I signed up to other legal agencies that operate a similar idea to Vario and unfortunately no luck” Lucy recalls. Soon after, Lucy received a call from the Pinsent Masons Vario Flexible Services team and after being accepted into the flexible lawyer hub, she was offered a 6 week internal assignment with Pinsent Masons’ banking team. This initial assignment eventually ended up being extended to 8 months. “My first assignment was a client facing role in the banking team where the responsibility and client interaction we were afforded was hugely encouraging. The support we received from Vario and Pinsent [Masons’] supervisors was excellent and really gave me the confidence to carry out the role. I have also found that the other Vario Paralegals placed alongside me were of an extremely high calibre and a pleasure to work with.”
In addition to the invaluable professional legal experience she gathered, Lucy also benefited from a more flexible work life regime as a freelancer, “Working for Vario has been fantastic for my work life balance. Whilst the team at Pinsent Masons have been very encouraging to support your commitments outside of work, as a freelancer it is really up to you to take the time you need. Whether this is between assignments or whilst on assignment, be it a personal day or for a week off” Lucy explains. Despite the lockdown restrictions, Lucy has managed to enjoy some hobbies outside of work commitments too, including challenging herself to complete her first 5k run within 4 weeks of training.
So since her extended initial assignment completed, how has Lucy’s promising career progressed? Lucy has since left Vario Flexible Services but reflects upon her time with fond memories. “Whilst I am sad to leave Vario, I am delighted to have been offered a full time paralegal position at a boutique London firm that deals with Commercial Real Estate and Finance. I am very excited to see where this takes me and I am so grateful to Vario for giving me my start, without it, I would not be in the position I am today” Lucy says.
She continues, “I'd highly recommend becoming a Vario flexible consultant. At any stage in your career this is a great way to be a part of interesting projects. From a personal viewpoint, for people at a similar stage as myself, where I am 100% committed to law and know I want to become a solicitor however I am not set on a specific area of law, Vario has been invaluable. 8 months ago I had no experience in Banking and in all honesty wasn't sure I would enjoy it. Fast forward 8 months and I am leaving Vario with a whole new perspective. I have surprised myself in an area of law I knew relatively little about. I think it is crucial pre-Training Contract and even throughout your Training Contract whilst, having your passions, keeping an open mind as you might find yourself surprised.”
Every summer, Pinsent Masons and Birmingham Law School welcome a group of first year students to our Birmingham office for an exclusive work experience programme. The participants spend 1 week in their dedicated department gaining hands-on experience, a chance to network with our lawyers and an opportunity to see what working in a commercial law firm is like.