Sharing advice and experiences on International Women’s Day #IWD21

Category: News

We’ve always been keen supporters of International Women’s Day (#IWD21). This year, we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate the women who work here at Nash & Co Solicitors in Plymouth. We’re blessed with some fantastic people who work for us. Not just the lawyers, but those behind the scenes too. We couldn’t do what we do without them all.

Each of them have different experiences and stories that have lead them to where they are now. Not everyone has taken the well trodden route through law school, training contracts and qualification as a Solicitor. Some have been on very different paths. For those working in support roles, for some, they have always worked here. Others have come from very different backgrounds.

But together, they have a number of things in common:

  • They’re proud to work here;
  • They provide exceptional client service as their top priority;
  • They’re highly skilled and experienced;
  • And we’re proud to have them. They truly make a difference.

Our answers…

Without further ado, here they are! We’re publishing just some of their profiles, and answers to some questions that we asked them. We hope you enjoy reading them!

With International Women’s Day in mind, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Believe in yourself and be true to your beliefs. Be honest and have integrity. You never really know your true path in life until you find your niche. Mine took a while to find. (middle 30’s).

Do you have any advice for someone starting in the same career as you?

Work hard, know your job, for example case law and how to prepare relevant bills for the Court, other solicitors, legal aid agency. Accuracy is a must.  It’s a specialist area and not well known as a job, however  it’s an integral part of Solicitors work who require payment for their services against their opponents. Can be an inhouse job or you can work for an external company of  legal costdraftsman.  Start at the bottom and work up.

What are your biggest achievements, personally and professionally?

Happily married for 38 Years to Childhood Sweetheart. Qualifying as a Costs Lawyer in 2011.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

To maintain my integrity, honesty and work hard but to find a work life balance before retirement.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I have always enjoyed everything about my Job, from meeting client’s, working with fee earners and various authority’s, like the Legal Aid Agency, Judges etc. Training other people within firms in costdrafting.

Anne Shears, international women's day

With International Women’s Day in mind, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Always trust your gut.

Do you have any advice for someone starting in the same career as you?

Try to experience as many different practice areas as you can to see what suits you, it might not be the one you think or want it to be.

What are your biggest achievements, personally and professionally?

Personally – completing the Berlin Marathon and mastering meringues. 

Professionally – embracing new opportunities.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

Keep spending as much time outside as possible, the one good thing about lockdown has been the walking and exploring.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Every day is completely different.

With International Women’s Day in mind, what advice would you give to your younger self?

It is ok to ask lots of questions!

Do you have any advice for someone starting in the same career as you?

Work hard and do not give up!

I would say the best piece of advice is to make sure that you take on every available opportunity and try something new at least once. Even if you realise something is not for you, you would have learned something from it.

Approaching a law firm or solicitor at networking events can be scary, but we are all humans!  

What are your biggest achievements, personally and professionally?

Qualifying as a solicitor is my biggest achievement both personally and professionally. A lot of my personal life has been dedicated to my career but that has come with significant rewards and a feeling of achievement. I really enjoy my job and would not change the path that I had chosen. I now work around highly skilled professionals who I learn a significant amount from and I work for a firm where I can have a good work/life balance to focus on my personal life also.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

Continue to develop and expand my knowledge within family law. I would also like to go on holiday and spend time with my family (pandemic permitting!).

What do you enjoy about your job?

I always say that I learn something new every day!

international women's day

With International Women’s Day in mind, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t feel obligated to do things that don’t bring you joy.

Do you have any advice for someone starting in the same career as you?

A big factor in being a good lawyer is being personable. Utilise whatever experience you can get (not necessarily law related) to hone these skills.

What are your biggest achievements, personally and professionally?

Personally, moving to a new city 150 miles away from where I grew up which I am now very happy to call home. Professionally, I have built up some great relationships with clients over the previous years and achieved some fantastic results for them.  

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

Get out and enjoy life, post covid!

What do you enjoy about your job?

Every client/query is different so the day flies!

International women's day

With International Women’s Day in mind, what advice would you give to your younger self?

“Many people may promise you the stars, but only you can reach them” Don’t be afraid to be different, because the people who you meet in life will love and admire you for who you are. Many people will come and go, but if you stay true to yourself, you will continue to succeed.  (Not sure if this is too cheesy?!)

Do you have any advice for someone starting in the same career as you?

Believe in yourself and your capability. The harder you work, the more you will feel rewarded, but at the same time, don’t forget to have fun and get involved in social activities (Covid permitting!) 

What are your biggest achievements, personally and professionally?

Professionally: Embarking on the CILEx Graduate Fast Track Course

Personally: Representing England and Wales in the Student International Negotiation Competition.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

My goals are to continue to develop the skills required to become a Chartered Legal Executive.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I enjoy working in a great team where no day is the same, everyone is supportive and I love being able to learn something new every day.

international women's day

With International Women’s Day in mind, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Be more confident in your own abilities and ask for help if you think you might need it.

Do you have any advice for someone starting in the same career as you?

Find an area of law that you love and you will love every day of your working life.

What are your biggest achievements, personally and professionally?

My biggest personal achievement was recovering from clinical depression following my divorce.  Also I have run a couple of ultra-marathons, so running 50 miles showed me that I could do anything that I was really focused on achieving.  Professionally – one client told me that I was the person who gave her the single best bit of advice in helping her to be a carer for her mother. I told her that the journey would have its ups and downs and to prepare for both.

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

To continue to serve the clients that I help to the best of my ability and to get my book published

What do you enjoy about your job?

Meeting people, hearing their stories and making a difference to make their lives better.

International Women's Day

With International Women’s Day in mind, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Be brave! Success can only be achieved by putting yourself in a position from which it is possible to fail.  Put yourself out there, know your goal and go for it.

Do you have any advice for someone starting in the same career as you?

Be focused, determined, ambitious and professional but don’t let those things stop you from being kind.  Throughout your life and your career, you will meet people that do not share your moral compass, people who are willing to treat other people badly to achieve their own personal success. My advice is to play the long game.  Success achieved  in the right organisation, where a hard work ethic and good treatment of others is rewarded, is not only much sweeter but also more likely to be long lived and with the full support of your colleagues. 

What is your biggest achievement, personally and professionally?

Becoming a partner and member of the Management Board at Nash & Co in 2019 was a huge personal and professional achievement for me. I enjoy board meetings as being an opportunity to be actively involved in the running of a business that I totally believe in. 

I also ran a sub 4 hour marathon in 2016, which was great, because it means I never have to run a marathon again!

What are your goals for the next 12 months?

Professionally, I aim to continue to support, expand and promote my team, which is the only Family Law team in Plymouth to be included in both the Legal 500 and Chambers legal directories.  Personally, I hope that the next 12 months sees a return to normality and the opportunity to take a proper holiday. There is a sunbed and mojito somewhere, just waiting for me.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I genuinely love my job. As a lawyer, I love the casework, the court advocacy, speaking to my clients and learning new things. As a team leader, I enjoy supporting and guiding a passionate and committed team.  They have an amazing team ethos that helps and supports one another, rather than trying to take advantage of any perceived weakness.  They say ‘together we are stronger’ and that is certainly true of my great team!