As a qualified lawyer with a few years under my belt, I approached turning thirty in a fairly relaxed manner. That is, until someone said the following fateful words to me.
“Did you know that it’s hard to get visas for casual work abroad when you’re over thirty?”
I am still unsure whether or not this is actually true, but at the time it sparked off an alarm in my brain. Frenzied visits to Trailfinders ensued and suddenly I was wandering the globe for a year with a backpack full of mosquito repellent and no job to come home to.
On my return, I had lots of non-heroic tales with which to bore people, Facebook friends whose faces I had forgotten already and a ridiculous amount of (allegedly) authentic trinkets from various obscure places. What I didn’t have, however, was a job. Step forward Morton Fraser. A job as a PSL in the Litigation Division was being advertised. “This is perfect for you,” enthused my friends. “Great,” I answered, “but what’s a PSL?”
Extensive Google-based research suggested that a PSL in this context was likely to be a Professional Support Lawyer. Having been deemed a legal geek throughout my days at University and as a trainee, this did indeed seem perfect for me. Swapping flip flops for heels, I managed to make a good enough impression to be offered the job and become the Litigation Division’s first PSL.
I spent almost five years at Morton Fraser and thoroughly enjoyed my time there. While the firm has a very professional approach to all that it does, it is also full of welcoming, friendly people. My job was diverse: I assisted with tenders, carried out research, provided training for colleagues and clients and also did some client work. Morton Fraser delivers a high standard of service for its clients and being part of such a dedicated team was rewarding.
I particularly enjoyed training junior team members. Asking senior colleagues to act as clients for training purposes was always highly entertaining (and not always for the right reasons). This side of the job appealed to me and led me to make a move into education. I left Morton Fraser for a role as the Deputy Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Professional Legal Studies at the University of Edinburgh. We run the Diploma in Professional Legal Practice, teaching postgraduate students the practical skills required to enter the legal profession as a trainee solicitor. The skills I acquired at Morton Fraser certainly prepared me well for the role and I, together with the rest of the team, take pride in preparing our students to be successful future trainees.
Having such a wide network of Morton Fraser alumni is useful in my current role: at a recent Commercial Awareness Day run for our students, our four main speakers had worked at (or continue to work at) Morton Fraser: Chris Harte, the current Chief Executive, Ruth McCallister, Director of Key Clients and Tenders, Catherine Loughran, Senior Legal Counsel at Skyscanner and Sam Price, Head of Legal at Abellio ScotRail! A number of Morton Fraser solicitors tutor on the Diploma and all are held in high regard by staff and students alike.
I enjoy what I do now, although do miss life at Morton Fraser. Working in such a dynamic firm was enjoyable and I am fortunate to be able to class a number of ex-Morton Fraser colleagues as friends.