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Commercial property blog: From professional paralysis to paralegal2nd July 2013

This time last year I was working 16 hour shifts in a gastro pub in Kentish Town and had almost given up on the prospect of a real job. For years I had been surrounded by my peers endlessly discussing the adversity that we all faced. This was a far cry from putting to use the law degree and legal practice course I had worked so hard for. Now I can say I have been lucky enough to work for the past ten months as a paralegal for the Real Estate department at Mishcon de Reya.

Initially, I sat in the commercial property team where I was hired to assist on the work we do for a FTSE 250 company with a London portfolio valued at £1.7 billion. Working with such an important client of ours had two distinct upsides: first the work was intriguing and I began daily to acquire knowledge of complicated property structures and second I had a chance to experience the more social side of the property world. Networking with various property firms has made clear the camaraderie that exists; whether a lawyer, surveyor or asset manager you will always find common ground.

Early on in my employment I was also involved in Mishcon’s work with a client investing into assets affiliated with the 2012 Olympics. Experiencing what goes into legally assisting clients of this calibre on projects of this size brought to life months of property law study. As our country starts to see the property market thaw in the wake of the economic recession, the more dynamic the opportunities that will arise - and legal advisors will always be vital to these transactions.

Four months ago I was asked to move within the department to support the property litigation team. I jumped at this chance as I saw it as a way in which to widen my experience in the legal field while continuing to work in property. The transition has been challenging yet rewarding.

I, just as my peers, am obviously aspiring to the elusive training contract. However work at this level should not be - and at Mishcon is not - underestimated. Without support roles available, people like me would never have the chance to learn. Additionally much of what I do now, such as applying to the Land Registry for alterations on title, form the foundations of the higher level work.

Within the department, as a whole, I have assisted a wide range of characters all with inspiring skill sets. The floor is full of smiles but also this feeling that from early in the morning to late at night work is being done, clients are provided with careful attention and a reputation is diligently maintained.

About the author

Sophie Adams, Mishcon de Reya

Sophie Adams is a paralegal in the Real Estate department at Mishcon de Reya.

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