Susanna Beeson

LG’s new training partner Susanna Beeson warns applicants about underselling themselves on application forms and explains the importance of map reading

Firm:

Lawrence Graham

Department: Real Estate

University: Edinburgh University

Degree Subject: Geography

Hobbies: Wine, travel, skiing

How long have you been a partner: Almost a year!

Who/what inspired you to be a lawyer? My grandfather who had enormous integrity and always seemed to be doing interesting things (but, without wanting to age myself Ally McBeal sealed the deal!).

What things did you wish you knew before embarking on a legal career?

That the skills I learnt in my geography degree would be so useful. As a real estate lawyer it is useful to be able to read a map (though I call it a plan now) – but most importantly how essential it is in any deal to be able to see the big picture.

What does your typical day involve? It varies and depends on what deals I am working on and, of course, where we are in the trainee cycle. Usually it is a combination of meetings, drafting, emailing, speaking to clients and negotiating with other lawyers.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job? Managing expectations.

What has been the highlight of your legal career so far? Becoming a partner and more recently becoming Training Partner.

What are the best aspects of your job? Completing deals – it is a fantastic feeling when you and your team have worked with a client to achieve their objectives.

What are the worst aspects of our job? Sometimes the deadlines can be rather challenging.

What tips would you give to students who want to break into the legal profession? Do your research and be absolutely clear about why you want to go into the law.

What are the most common mistakes you’ve seen candidates making? Sometimes I am amazed at how people undersell themselves in their applications. I think this is often a lawyer’s trait.

How has the legal market changed since the days you were a trainee? We have been through ten years of unprecedented growth followed by over three years of very tough times. I think that more than ever law firms are becoming more accountable on pricing and the delivery of value added service. The competition is very tough.

What impact has the recession had on your firm?There is no doubt that the recession has been tough, but because we are a genuinely full service firm when some teams have been quieter increased activity in other areas has balanced that out. It has also given us the opportunity to look more closely at the business and think harder about where we think we are going to achieve growth.

What three words best describe our firm? Exciting, collegiate, dynamic.

Where did you go for your last holiday? Oman.

What gadget/gizmo would you be lost without? My iphone.