Lisa Jordan, Irwin Mitchell grad recruitment partner

Lawyer 2B quizzes Irwin Mitchell’s graduate recruitment partner Lisa Jordan

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Name: Lisa Jordan

Firm: Irwin Mitchell LLP

Department: Medical Law and Patients Rights

University: Lancaster

Degree subject: Law LLB

Hobbies:Reading, films, Pilates, hill walking

How long have you been a partner?Since I joined the firm in 1999.

Who/what inspired you to be a lawyer? My dad who I think liked the idea that I would be fighting for the rights of the underdog.

What things did you wish you knew before embarking on a legal career?How to balance my job, which I love, with spending time with my kids, that I love more.

What does your typical day involve?I am usually at my desk for 7.30a.m, I’m a lark not an owl. Any detailed work requiring concentration and quiet are done then. A large part of my day is spent supervising my team and dealing with management issues but I make sure I have time for my clients in the midst of that. Meetings still play a large part in my day and they may be here in Birmingham, Sheffield, London or any of our other offices.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?Just finding enough time in the day to ensure that I am a good manager and partner, a good lawyer for my clients and can still ‘switch off’ at the end of the day.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?Helping many families who have suffered the tragedy of having a child disabled because of the circumstances of their birth to gain some security for their childs future. Every time I see their lives transformed it makes me feel humbled.

What are the best aspects of your job? People. I have met some amazing people doing the job I do. That includes clients who have battled adversity, charity workers whose commitment is truly inspiring and the people I work with at IM which is a fantastic firm to work for.

What are the worst aspects of your job?Getting up at 6 a.m in the winter, it never gets any easier. Having to tell clients their case isn’t going to succeed and can’t go any further.

What tips would you give to students who want to break into the legal profession?Do your homework properly. The applicants who stand out are the ones who have made an effort to find out about the firm.

What are the most common mistakes you’ve seen candidates making? Whilst I absolutely understand why they do it sending blanket applications indiscriminately to large numbers of firms is, I think, misguided. Making your application personal to that firm and explaining why you want to work there is much more likely to impress.

How has the legal market changed since the days you were a trainee?Massively, and mostly for the better. Firms are much more committed to providing a comprehensive training programme now not just for trainees but for all levels of staff. IM has a Partnership with the College of L developing legal training (IMU Law and Business School) and a Leadership Academy which provides fmanagerial support at all levels within the business.I think this means that people are staying longer at the good firms and not moving around as much as they did in my days.

What impact has the recession had on your firm?It has definitely made us focus more on planning for the future. We were one of the first law Firms to become an ABS. We have worked very hard to put the firm in the best position possible to not just be able to retain all of our staff in the midst of a recession but to continue to grow and develop our staff and our services

What three words best describe your firm?Innovative, approachable, supportive.

Where did you go for your last holiday?The Southern coast of Spain just below Granada where we stayed in a cliff side villa and watched dolphins swim by in the sea below. It was wonderful.

What gadget/gizmo would you be lost without?My iPad. Great for armchair shopping, dreadful for my bank account. Great for checking emails at any time of the day or night, dreadful for family conversations.