‘It’s rare that I have a typical day during the week.’ Joanna Risdale
Associate Director Bristol

Why did you want to pursue a career in Law?

I was attracted to a career in law initially because I wanted to be the next Ally McBeal!  I soon realised that the challenge of working in a constantly changing legal landscape to try and find solutions to achieve clients’ goals was the sort of challenge that I was keen to take on and pursue throughout my career.

Why Osborne Clarke in Bristol?

I’m from Bristol originally and applied to firms in Bristol and Birmingham (where I went to University) as I had no desire to work or live in London. I wanted to work for a large firm that advised big name clients and could offer me the type of work which was both interesting and challenging.

As soon as I walked into Osborne Clarke’s office for my assessment day I felt at home, it was a place where I felt that I could achieve my potential. I actually cancelled second interviews at other firms when I was offered the Osborne Clarke training contract as I had felt quite uncomfortable when I walked into their offices and knew that I was not a good fit with those firms; they were all a bit too stuffy for me!

How has your training contract at Osborne Clarke aided your transition to qualified lawyer?

From the outset I was given responsibility and encouraged to be a member of the team – I was never made to feel like “the trainee” in any team I worked in and genuinely felt as though team members (right up to partner) were looking out for me throughout my training contract. All of my supervisors were hugely supportive and interested in developing my career. I qualified into my final seat and, as soon as my job had been confirmed, all the Partners in the team congratulated me. This attitude is constant throughout the firm and Osborne Clarke is just a genuinely lovely environment to work in.

What drew you to qualify into Real Estate?

I struggled with the decision on qualification (which I think is a reflection of the quality of all teams at Osborne Clarke), but ultimately real estate was the team which I felt best suited my skills. I enjoy negotiation but the beauty of a transactional department is that everyone is ultimately working towards the same goal. I really enjoy working with assets that are so tangible; there’s quite a buzz from walking past a multi-let building in the City which you have purchased or developed knowing that you facilitated that project.

Typical day?

It’s rare that I have a typical day during the week, as I spend a day or two every couple of weeks in the London office, usually have client meetings or a site visit to attend or sometimes have all day client events.

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