Q&A with Romesa Altaf
Driven by Leasha Newman, a Solicitor for Linkcity, we are now offering work experience for students on the Law Society’s Diversity Access Scheme. Linkcity is delighted to be working more closely with the Law Society to offer valuable experience to students who might otherwise struggle to gain such opportunities.
We spoke with Leasha’s first intern recruited through the scheme, Romesa Altaf. Here’s what she had to say about her time at Linkcity.
Please could you tell us a little bit about yourself and how you came about finding your internship with Linkcity?
I studied Law LLB at the University of Reading and graduated in June 2021. Through a rigorous application process, I was very fortunate to be awarded The Law Society’s DAS Scholarship which supports aspiring solicitors from disadvantaged backgrounds. This fully funded scholarship covers the costs of my LPC course which I am currently studying at BPP University. Linkcity were one of the firms that worked with The Law Society and organised the opportunity for one of the DAS awardees to undertake a paid work placement with the in-house legal team.
What has your day to day role involved over the course of your internship?
Over the course of my internship, I have been involved in completing a range of tasks to assist the legal team. Some of the tasks involved undertaking research, drafting documents, writing emails and attending client meetings. Aside from these tasks, I was introduced to individuals from other departments to discuss their roles and how they work with the legal team. I also visited Linkcity’s project at Luton Street which was really insightful as I was able to see the final product coming together.
What has been the most challenging part of your time with Linkcity?
I think the most challenging part of my internship has been working whilst studying. Since I’m studying the LPC full-time, taking part in the placement meant finding the time to study independently after work. Although this was difficult to manage at first, I had support from the legal team who were always open to answering any questions I had relating to the LPC. Completing the placement in this format has also allowed me to understand the importance of effectively managing and organising my time
What has been the most valuable lesson you have learned since starting your internship?
The most valuable thing I have learnt from this placement is that although it is important to have the legal knowledge, it is crucial to have the ability to communicate and build relationships with people across a range of departments. As a lawyer, you are required to liaise with others to not only gather information but also see things from different perspectives to reach the best outcome for your client. Therefore, being able to attend client meetings and hear my supervisor attend calls and meetings was an invaluable part of my placement as it allowed me to better understand client queries and how these are resolved.
What have you liked most about working at Linkcity?
Over the two weeks, I really enjoyed witnessing the collaborative culture at Linkcity and working alongside hardworking, enthusiastic and result-oriented individuals. Because of this, I was able to have genuine conversations with a number of people in the office and ask questions without hesitation. This was something I was quite anxious about prior to joining but the atmosphere from the first day in the office was reassuring as it clearly demonstrated that I was treated as a valuable member of the team.
I also liked the quality of work I was assigned. Compared to my previous work experiences, at Linkcity, I had real-life work given to me. For example, I thoroughly enjoyed drafting a supplemental lease which required me to use both my legal knowledge and my ability utilise new key information to complete the document. I enjoyed receiving thorough feedback on my work, following this feedback and then producing the final version for my supervisor and other team members.
How do you think your time with us will benefit your development in the long-term?
My placement with Linkcity will play a significant role in my career development in the long-term. Over the two weeks, I was given real and challenging work to complete by both my supervisor and other lawyers in the team. Having this exposure, as an aspiring solicitor, means that I have a better understanding of what this role entails on a daily basis. This experience will inevitably make me a stronger candidate for future applications as I will be able to confidently demonstrate the importance of solicitors and delivering practical and commercially aware solutions to clients.
The placement with Linkcity has given me a real insight what it is like working in-house which is a very rare opportunity. This will benefit me in the future when deciding whether to qualify with an in-house or a private practice law firm.
I have built some strong relationships over the course of my placement and these will benefit me as I progress in my career. Having met incredibly supportive people, I am confident that I have a network of individuals I can contact to have conversations relating to my career and or my studies.