LLB (Honours) Law, Class of 2003
Lesley is an associate solicitor in the personal injury department at Pannone LLP. She acts on behalf of claimants who are injured as a result of accidents, and oversees a team of paralegals.
What happened after I graduated
'Following graduation from Sheffield Hallam, I completed my legal practice course at Manchester Metropolitan University. I then started work as a paralegal with Russell & Russell Solicitors in Bolton.
'Within a few months I was offered a training contract completing seats in personal injury, family and conveyancing.
'I qualified in January 2007 and stayed at Russell & Russell as a newly qualified solicitor in their personal injury department. I moved to Pannone LLP as a solicitor in January 2009 where I was made an associate in May 2012. Pannone is a full service law firm, delivering legal services across the UK and internationally. '
What my job involves
'I act on behalf of claimants injured as a result of various types of accidents. My case load consists of employer, public, occupier and product liability claims and is a mixture of fast track and multi track cases up to a maximum value of around £250,000. My specialities are client care, personal injury litigation, negotiation, drafting, networking, time management. I have particular interest in keeping abreast of current case law and I am keen to raise awareness of all accident litigation related issues.
'I enjoy every aspect of my job. Helping clients when they face unexpected difficulties is really rewarding and ensuring that my clients are compensated properly for their injuries is important to me.
'One particular case that stands out was when I acted for a man who was involved in a near fatal accident at work, sustaining serious injuries to both his feet. The accident had a devastating effect on his daily and family life, but I secured a great settlement for him and it was very rewarding to hear some years after settlement that he had started his own business and was doing very well. The settlement enabled him to restart his life despite the severity of his injuries, and seeing how he and his family pulled together during such a difficult time was truly inspiring.'
'I'm not sure what the future holds for me but I'll continue to work hard and enjoy my role. I'd like to continue to progress within my current law firm and one day reach the heady heights of partner. The industry is facing many changes and challenges, but you have to accept that as part of the territory.'
How Sheffield Hallam helped me
'The course at Sheffield Hallam was a real eye-opener for me in many ways. I'd never studied law before and the degree was the foundation that I needed. My lecturers were insightful and challenging and I was exposed to a lot of things which broadened my mind. I also found opportunities to try some new skills.'
A word to the wise
'I’d say the most important thing for a career in law is the practical experience. As a student you have the time to gain skills and experience in various organisations so the more you get, the more you have to show on a CV, which may separate you out from the crowd. Plus you have a chance to see whether this is something you really want to do for a living.'