From Saturday job to Partner, Alex Bishop tells us why being argumentative destined her for a career in law.
According to my mother, I was destined to be a lawyer from the age of three, as I was so argumentative! There were no other lawyers in the family. In fact, no one in the family had been to university before so, aside from the argumentative streak and a fascination with justice (or the lack of it at times), no one really knows where my decision to follow a legal career has come from. But being a lawyer has always been my plan.
In addition to a Saturday job at Superdrug, working as a receptionist and stints as a barmaid, I managed to get some work experience at a large commercial law firm as well as in-house work experience with the legal team at Dolland & Aitchison. I was hooked.
I was incredibly fortunate to secure a training contract at what was then a relatively small Birmingham firm (that firm eventually became DLA Piper - evolving into one of the largest global law firms). My argumentative streak continued and, perhaps unsurprisingly, I became a litigation lawyer. I've had some fantastic experiences working for fabulous clients all over the world, including six months working on an investigation in the Cayman Islands. I have also spent time working in house on a number of secondments which gave me really valuable insight into the pressures our in house lawyer clients are under.
In 2006, the opportunity arose at Shoosmiths to establish a litigation practice in its new Birmingham office. I was so impressed by the people I met and the ethos of the firm that I leapt at the chance. I haven't looked back. Building the litigation team from scratch and then going on to help shape the national practice has been such a rewarding experience. I now lead the National Dispute Resolution and Compliance practice responsible for teams from Edinburgh to Southampton covering litigation, regulatory and competition disciplines. I am also deputy head of Shoosmiths' Birmingham office.
I had a little boy in 2015 so I am also currently learning about the joys of juggling two full time roles but I really wouldn't have it any other way!