Developing resilience and how it can lead to success

As part of our blog series Brighton Resilience, law alumna Zoe Bowler – trainee at top law firm Charles Russell Speechlys – tells us how she has built resilience and gives her take on what can help us through the current challenges

I received poor A-level grades which I was very disappointed with, especially because at the time I felt I had worked as hard as I could (taking into consideration that I did have some extenuating circumstances). I knew it was going to make it more difficult to get into a London law firm, as many have a high threshold for A-level requirements. My mum even questioned if going to university was right for me, however I was determined to go and eventually work in the law despite her reservations.

At university I took the time to work ‘smart’ through my studies and used every opportunity to learn. I wanted to prove that going to university was the right choice and focus on doing everything I could to increase my chances of getting into the career I wanted. I came out of university with a first class degree, I did not let the A-level grades hold me back from applying for training contracts at city firms, despite not meeting the grade thresholds. Achieving this grade in my degree showcased my true potential and I was given the opportunity to attend a vacation scheme with city law firm Charles Russell Speechlys. I used this opportunity to showcase my skills and knowledge, showing that despite the grades I should be taken on as a trainee. Through this I was offered a training contract and I am due to start in August.

The two lessons I have learnt from this situation are, make sure you are always working smart, if you work smart you can use your time wisely to get things done in the most efficient way possible and get a lot out of the process. Secondly, do not let things you perceive as barriers hold you back, you will get to where you want to be provided you keep at it, even if you are not taking the same route as everyone else.



Christina Keiller • 30/04/2020

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