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Careers Focus: An interview with Sherrelle Scott

As part of our Career Focus series, we’re speaking to members of our team about their careers to date and to get their thoughts on the future of the legal profession. Today we’re talking to corporate associate, Sherrelle Scott…

Photo of Sherrelle ScottHow long have you been working with HRC Law and what was your career before that?

I’ve been with HRC Law for over five years now – joining in 2013 shortly after Simon founded the firm, I’ve had the pleasure of progressing my career alongside the growth of the business.

My route to qualification hasn’t been a traditional one. Having started a family young, my journey began a little later and has run alongside raising my children – both a challenging and rewarding endeavour. Half way through my Legal Practice Course (LPC), the firm I was working for unfortunately went into administration.

Thankfully, things worked out for the best. Joining HRC Law allowed me to complete my qualification in a flexible and supportive environment. Since qualifying with the firm, I’ve been able to continue progressing my career, being promoted to my current position of associate within the corporate department.

Can you remember what first drew you to a career in law?

I come from a working class background and the idea of a career in law – I was told – was a nice pipe-dream, but unlikely to happen for someone like me. I didn’t go to the right school and was the first person in my family to go to university. I didn’t fit the mould of a typical law student.

I think it’s fair to say I’m very tenacious (a quality that I believe makes me a strong lawyer), so when teachers and career advisors told me to set my sights on something more achievable, it only made me more determined to prove them wrong. My focus was on getting my foot in the door and I was happy to do whatever task was asked of me. From making the tea to doing the filing, I consistently worked hard until I was noticed. I’d like to think that I’m evidence of what hard work and a can-do attitude can achieve.

Why did you choose to specialise in corporate and commercial?

I felt most at home during my time working in corporate as a trainee. I love working alongside business owners and entrepreneurs and found a real synergy between my skillset and this world. It’s where I excel. I’ve been lucky enough to work in such a tight team that exposed me to all corners of the industry from day one and I’ve loved every minute of it.

What attracted you to HRC Law?

Having previously worked with Simon, I knew that he was onto a good thing when he established HRC Law. However, when we spoke about the prospect of me coming onboard I was nervous given the issues we had faced at my previous firm, the fact HRC was just a few months old and I was still going through training with a family to support. I needed stability. However, following a number of conversations, it was clear it was a risk worth taking.

I had absolute faith in the business and its vision. I was also compelled by the idea of being with the business from the start, helping shape the firm into what it is today – an opportunity few will get in their lifetime. Bigger firms tend to work in silos and joining HRC when I did exposed me to so many aspects of both law and business that I wouldn’t have benefited from elsewhere and has ultimately enabled me to become the lawyer I am today. Working as part of a tight team in a growing business has helped to shape my entrepreneurial mindset and better understand our ambitious clients and what drives them.

What has been the toughest part of your career to date?

I think anyone who has qualified as a lawyer will agree that juggling study alongside the pressures of work is extremely demanding and difficult. Finding any kind of work-life balance isn’t easy during this time. For me, I was doing this alongside raising a young family. It was extremely tough and being spread so thinly often felt like I was always letting someone or something down. Looking back now, I’m amazed I got through it without dropping any plates. It was stressful, but you find yourself on auto-pilot ploughing through what needs to be done. A typical day would see me changing hats between being an employee, a student, a mother and a wife. I was lucky that I had brilliant support both in the office and at home.

What has been the most rewarding part of your career to date?

Without a doubt, qualifying as a solicitor. My journey to qualification took over ten years and was paved with challenges. I often felt like the odds were stacked against me. Finally reaching the light at the end of the tunnel was an amazing feeling.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
Don’t get hung up on not qualifying via the traditional route or within the traditional time-frame. Tough times lie ahead and will sometimes leave you doubting whether you’re good enough and whether you can do it, but remember that hard work always pays off and challenges will work to your advantage in the long-run.