‘On a daily basis I get to engage with overseas counsel and clients’. Anisa Dudhia
Associate London

Why did you decide work in law?

From year seven to year nine, I participated in public speaking at school and I then joined the debating society from year 10. Through these experiences I realised that when I am passionate about a subject, I really enjoy standing my ground and arguing my case. Whilst some of my fellow students went on to choose a career in other professional fields, my experience inspired me to want to work in law.

What’s it like to work for an international law firm?

It’s really exciting and dynamic. On a daily basis I get to engage with overseas counsel and clients. I regularly get to work with international colleagues from across our 12 jurisdictions and draw on their experience and expertise to provide insight and advice on cross-border client matters.

As Osborne Clarke is a truly international law firm, there are exciting international secondment opportunities.  Just last week we had a colleague from Germany and the week before from Spain.  I plan to apply for my own international placement in the next few years.

Which area of law do you work in?  What’s your specialism?

As part of the banking team, I work across a number of sectors including financial services and real estate and infrastructure. I completed my training contract in September, so I am still learning and haven’t yet specialised, but I mostly work on real estate finance and corporate finance deals.

What is a typical day like for you?

I have a priority list every day that consists of general client management activities, including drafting key transactional documents. I usually have several client calls a day and I also interact with the different specialist teams at Osborne Clarke that work for a given client.

What are the most enjoyable aspects of your job?

I love that my role is really dynamic and that it involves me working with other members of the client team, across the different service lines, to  negotiate and resolve certain deal issues. .  However, by far the best part of my job is completing a deal, as everyone is (usually!) happy with the result.

What about your job didn’t you expect before you started?

Compared to some other law firms, I think I get more opportunities at Osborne Clarke than perhaps I would get at other bigger firms. For example my colleagues really empower me to take responsibility for client projects. Generally they lead from behind and encourage me to take ownership, but ultimately I know they are also there supporting me every step of the way.   It’s so great form a learning perspective, but also really challenging and rewarding.

What have been your greatest achievements to date?

I think my greatest achievement was completing my training contract and qualifying.  It was a culmination of six years of hard work that started at the beginning of university and finished when I completed the two year training contract.   I was and still am very proud of myself.

Biggest challenges?

My first month on my training contract was quite tricky because I had to learn how to deal with very big personalities right from the start. But ultimately this meant learning more about myself and how I react to different people.  It’s so important to have an open mind and know that you will come across a wide variety of people in work. The best thing to do is to just be as professional as possible.

Is diversity a big focus for Osborne Clarke?

Yes, diversity is hugely important at Osborne Clarke. Our senior leadership team is really approachable and happy to take on ideas from all levels of the business.  For example, the firm recently launched a number of initiatives like Osborne Clarke’s Women’s Network that aims to develop a strong internal network, foster progression opportunities and endorse diversity throughout our business.

What advice would you give to young person who wants to pursue a career in law?

I think it’s important for all young people to be ambitious and go for opportunities that can provide you with an opening, regardless of the field. You will learn so much about yourself and what you are really passionate about.  All of my work experiences were not at law firms (I did a lot of volunteering for charities) but I still gained invaluable exposure.

So for anyone who knows they already want to work in law, I think what’s really important is that you do something you enjoy and excel at, as it will bring the best out of you.

This article was first published on The Big Choice website.

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