Megan Laffey is a paralegal at leading law firm Devonshires, Megan kindly shared her journey to a legal career, what it’s like in her role as a paralegal on an average day and 3 tips she’d share with aspiring legal professionals!
My journey to a legal career
Following my graduation from Law at Queen Mary’s University of London in 2020, I relocated to Milan as an intern to assist the partners of a boutique law firm specialising in Intellectual Property and Intangible Cultural Heritage Law.
During my time at Queen Mary’s, I had the pleasure of being part of their pro-bono Legal Advice Centre, assisting live clients in family, and immigration law, and lastly, my most current legal endeavour has been to be part of one of Devonshires’ most successful departments as a Property Securitisation Paralegal.
As you can tell, I have had the fortune of working in various sectors of law, all of which have been incredibly interesting, rewarding and stimulating in their own way.
However, in this short article, I shall focus on the highly regarded firm, which is Devonshires, as well as what an average day consists of as a member of the team, and 3 top tips I would like to share with an aspiring legal professional.
What an average day at Devonshires consists of
I joined Devonshires in June 2021, and since then, I have become a valued and appreciated member of the team, who has constantly been given the opportunity to grow and learn in my role.
Whilst many may already know of the great success of Devonshires Solicitors, an inside perspective that I would like to add is the welcomeness that I have experienced since my first day. Everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting or working with has always made the effort to make me feel welcome and express the fact that their door is always open.
Overall, my role consists of carrying out the due diligence of charging properties and ensuring that the properties are acceptable, at their highest value and pose a low risk for security by the time the property is presented to the lender.
This involves examining Title Registers, Title Plans, Map Searches, Planning Permissions, Section 106 Agreements as well as Local, Water, and Environmental Searches. Depending on what we do or do not discover may result in us having to lodge applications to the Land Registry to ensure that we are able acquire the highest value for the property for our clients.
We are often in contact with several third parties to ensure that everything is running as smoothly as possible when resolving anything we have spotted in our due diligence.
Whilst we are often working towards a tight deadline, and it is important to be adaptable to a fast-paced environment, there is also ample opportunity to get stuck into tasks which require a more meticulous eye, and careful drafting skills. For example, as a team we underwent training for drafting Deeds of Variations for Mortgagee Exclusion Clauses.
There is not much of an ‘average’ day at Devonshires, as all members of the team are encouraged to learn and attempt new tasks daily, and as I am someone that likes to be challenged and pushed, I enjoy the opportunity to prove my capabilities.
3 top tips you’d share with aspiring legal professionals
1 - It is okay to be disheartened by a rejection, but do not let it stop you from trying again. Each rejection means you are closer to the role you were meant for.
2 - If the opportunity arises to work in a new sector of law – go for it. A lot of my favourite work experiences have happened in sectors that were not even on my radar to work in.
3 - It is never too late for a change in direction if you feel as if something is not working for you. The broadness of the legal sector means there is ample opportunity to find the right role for you, so one bad experience should not mean that you hang up the towel on your legal career.