Jersey: Learned Advice: Katie Baxter, Julie Melia And Sarah Parish Reflect On A Career In Law
Last Updated: 23 May 2018

Ogier is a growing firm that is constantly looking for new talent to join our international family and be part of our future.

We are one of the few offshore firms to operate a full City-style training scheme for qualification as an English Solicitor– but besides qualifications and formal learning, we are also committed to creating a team of energetic, inquiring and dynamic minds.

As a firm, we're proud not just of our award-winning and industry-leading teams specialising in Banking & Finance, Corporate & Commercial, Dispute Resolution, Investment Funds, Private Client & Trusts and Property law, but also of the open, friendly, team-based culture that we have built.

Here, three of our team give an insight into their experience of life at Ogier:

Katie Baxter

Associate – Private Client & Trusts

The best advice I was ever given about a career in law...

"The best career advice that I was given about a career in law is that no matter how long you practice for you will never know everything there is to know. In law you have to keep on learning, you need to keep developing your skills and knowledge, it doesn't come to a stop when you pass your exams. If anything, the more you progress, the more specialised your practice is likely to be so there's an even greater need to stay on top of the latest developments. No single lawyer is ever going to know everything and that is why we work in teams and it's why we all focus on slightly different areas of practice. In my area in particular, change is constant – there is a regular flow of case law and legislation both at a local and international level and regulatory change that we have to understand and advise clients on, so there is never a point at which you know enough and you can just stop learning – which is why I was always told never to be afraid to ask a question, and that has stuck with me."

Sarah Parish

Senior associate – Property law

What I wish I'd been told...

"What I wish I'd been told is that the law will keep surprising you, and that there's not a single, defined personality type that is likely to make a successful lawyer. I think that a lot of people have strange ideas about what lawyers are like from TV and films, but I don't think that picture bears a lot of resemblance to reality for most of us. You meet a lot of very different people as lawyers who have succeeded in different ways for different reasons – some of the time that's down to the fact that litigators for example need different skills to transaction-focused corporate lawyers or private client specialists. But sometimes it's down to the fact that people are just different, and the old clichés don't apply, if they even ever did. So my advice to young lawyers would always be to not pretend you're something you're not, and don't make the mistake of thinking that you're not the kind of person that could be a lawyer."

Julie Melia

Partner – Property and probate

What I tell trainees about careers in law...

"I always tell trainees to keep an open mind about the law. When you're a trainee you go through seats in various departments to get a rounded experience – and all of that work is very different. The other thing that I would say is that they shouldn't be afraid to change how they work and what kind of law they specialise in, as each area of law has pros and cons in terms of the skills that they demand and the challenges and enjoyment that you might get from a particular type of work. I was in general practice as an Advocate for many years which involved anything from representing defendants in the Magistrate's Court to family and property work. Now I'm a partner in the property law team specialising in major commercial property transactions – I also work in probate, dealing with wills, administration of estates, and curatorships. Keeping an open mind is essential, and will enable you to challenge yourself to go further and do things differently."

This article first appeared in Gallery magazine.

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