Kilgraston’s Women and Business initiative continues with a talk by legal expert
Kilgraston's Women and Business 2020 programme has started with a packed courtroom.
Family Law expert, Nyree Conway – a solicitor with Thorley Stephenson SSC – visited the School on 24 January as part of the Women and Business initiative to speak to Fifth and Sixth Form pupils about a career in the legal profession.
During the lecture, Nyree explained her route from reading Law at Glasgow University to her current position as the Edinburgh firm’s only female Director. “I really love what I do,” said Nyree, “specialising in this particular field, you have to be good at listening and negotiating – it’s all about the people.”
Nyree told the girls how she briefly considered a career in accountancy but soon realised her true calling was law: “Roughly two thirds of my university contemporaries progressed to accountancy and management consultancy, but pretty early on I decided I wanted to concentrate on a legal career, earning a traineeship in criminal law.”
She went on to describe how earning a degree in Scottish Law is a much-coveted qualification and opens doors and possibilities around the world: “One of my best friends works in Australia. Having completed his Law degree he took his CA qualification and now works for as a fund manager in Sydney.”
Entering the legal process was, Nyreee said, all down to the traineeship and often you had to plan well ahead: “Bigger law firms recruit up to two years in advance,” she said, “They operate a rotation system, usually of around three months, in tax/family/corporate/conveyancing, giving you a ‘taster’ of each specialty.”
The Scottish Legal News was highlighted as a good place to look for opportunities but, as someone whose remit includes recruitment at TS, she also pointed out that there is still an “argument for a personal, well written letter, detailing your experience.”
Nyree, told the girls that there was no such thing as a “typical day” as a family lawyer and often she would have to dash from client meetings to law courts, with work frequently taking her all over Scotland: “You have to employ a huge range of skills on a daily basis.”
Girls heard how Nyree had been a Director since September 2016, having initially joined the family law division as associate in 2014, “Be ambitious, there’s a lot of opportunity out there.”
There were lots of questions from the ‘courtroom’ including: “What would you have read at university if it hadn’t been Law?” “History,” and”Can you work in England after qualifying in Scotland?” “Yes, after a one year conversion course.”
“A really inspiring insight,” one Sixth Form pupil, “It was great to hear first-hand how her career had progressed and the experience she had gained along the route. It definitely sounds like a very worthwhile degree to gain.”
Headmistress, Dorothy MacGinty, said: “These sort of opportunities and connections are invaluable. Planning your tertiary learning and career can be a daunting process; hearing from an industry insider gives an unparalleled understanding of what’s really involved with a job.”
In February, Kilgraston will welcome Procurator Fiscal, Karon Rollo, as part of the Women and Business series of lectures.
Kilgraston would like to thank Nyree very much for having come to the School.
(l-r) Dorothy MacGinty, Headmistress of Kilgraston School, Nyree Conway from Edinburgh legal firm, Thorley Stephenson, and pupils at the Women and Business talk on January 24 2020
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