Jersey: The Road Less Travelled: Different Routes To A Career In Law With Ogier
Last Updated: 31 July 2018

Ogier is a growing firm that is constantly looking for new talent to join our international family and be part of our future. 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 of the investment we make in new talent and training, and also of the open, friendly, team-based culture that we have built. Our team members are diverse and so are their career paths - here Simon Lofthouse, Kylie Buckingham and Chelsea McKenna talk about taking the road less travelled to their legal careers.

Simon Lofthouse is an associate in Ogier's Private Client and Trusts team, where he specialises in cross-border estate planning. Simon recently attained his STEP Advanced Certificate in Cross-Border Estates with distinction. Before gaining his LLB exempting law degree at Northumbria University and going on to practise in the UK as an English Solicitor and then in Jersey with Ogier, Simon spent 11 years in the Royal Navy.

"I joined the Navy straight out of school in Wiltshire, where I worked as a Petty Officer (Above Water Warfare Weapons). As the job title suggests, the role saw me responsible for weaponry and ship security, and involved travelling extensively across the Middle East, the Caribbean, South America and South Africa.

I thoroughly enjoyed my 11 years in the Navy. You are taught valuable skills that set you up well for any career – self-sufficiency and resilience being two major ones – and you gain a perspective which is unique and valued by employers. I drew on this to ensure that the transition from the Navy to law was a positive one.

My advice to anyone considering an alternative route to law, particularly from the armed forces, is not to worry - your experience and skillset are assets that differentiate you. I definitely feel better placed to serve clients as a result of my time in the Navy – I've experienced a different side to life and lived and worked alongside people from many backgrounds and cultures in a way that many haven't, which is only a benefit in this line of work."

Kylie Buckingham's journey with Ogier started back in 2006 as a bursary student, she then went on to complete a training contract in Ogier's Banking and Finance team after completing the LPC. After coming back to work from maternity leave, Kylie moved into Knowledge Management and worked as a Professional Support Lawyer. She is now Head of Knowledge Management at Ogier.

"I moved into Knowledge Management in 2016, initially working as a Professional Support Lawyer for the Corporate and Banking and Finance teams, before going on to head up Knowledge Management in 2018. It was not really an area that I had thought I would end up in, but actually I would not now want to be anywhere else.

My role is a dual one – I am still the banking Professional Support Lawyer but being Head of Knowledge Management means that I also have a higher level view of what's going on, so I can ensure that we focus on the right things and that we are working well as a team across our different jurisdictions. It makes no difference to me that my clients are now internal rather than external, I still work in the same professional manner. One of the major advantages of having been an associate in the Banking & Finance team, is that I can bring a fee-earner's perspective to the role.

My advice to anybody considering a career shift would be: if you're interested in something else, then take a risk – what's the worst that could happen? If I hadn't taken the leap I wouldn't have realised that Knowledge Management is where I was meant to be."

Chelsea McKenna is a paralegal in Ogier's Local Legal Services team. Before joining Ogier she had a career in company and trust administration, working initially in a family office team and then continuing with private client work for five years.

"I used to obtain legal advice on behalf of clients in the finance industry, and working with lawyers in transactions drove my eagerness to one day be the party providing the advice. After completing the Diploma for Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administration (ICSA) in 2017, I decided to pursue my interest in law and enrolled with the Institute of Law Jersey to study towards the LLB Law degree.

Having worked for Ogier in its historical fiduciary section, I knew from the friendly work culture that the firm was somewhere I would like to return to. Since starting in December, I have been pleasantly surprised with the amount of support provided through the provision of study leave for my exams, part-time working hours during term time and excellent on the job training from my team.

It's never too late to change career path, if you are seriously interested in something then you ought to go for it, rather than regret not trying."

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