Alumni profile – Samantha Weston, solicitor
We are delighted to share a Q and A with Samantha Weston, who is a solicitor specialising in conveyancing. Samantha has some great advice for students who may be considering a legal profession and the different routes available to achieve this.
What A-levels did you study at Richmond Sixth Form College? English Language, Classical Civilisation, Government and Politics and History
Why did you choose to read History at university? This was a subject that I enjoyed and had a natural talent for throughout school. I also didn’t want to risk spending three years doing something I wouldn’t enjoy and come out with a poor result or drop out. Also, History provides the academic style I prefer, and the transferrable skills meant that so many options could be available to me when I graduated.
What inspired you to choose a career in Law? I have always wanted to be a solicitor or a doctor, my mum says I wanted to be a doctor from the age of 3 years old. When I found out I wasn’t very good at science, law was the natural choice. I honestly didn’t research any other careers and took a job in a solicitor’s office straight from university and loved it. I again appeared to have a natural talent for dealing with clients and picked up the process very quickly therefore was quickly promoted to fee earner and then allowed to represent clients in court as my confidence grew.
Why did you choose to study for a second degree in Psychology? My son. He is autistic and I wanted to learn more about how and why he behaves the way he does. I wanted to be able to help him more. Being with my children for 8 months over lockdown made me realise how much he struggles trying to fit in, how relaxed he was learning at home and how happy he became.. I have also done a number of courses aimed at autism which have really helped too.
Have you worked in any other fields apart from law? Schools and nurseries working with SEND children and Ken Warnes when I was at Richmond School!
Will you have a specialist area in your new role at Hunton & Garget? Conveyancing. I really enjoy the nitty gritty of complex matters, getting fully absorbed into leases or old title deeds. I enjoy solving problems and coming up with solutions. I have worked in other areas of law including Wills and Probate and Family, but I always seem to find myself back in conveyancing. I would like to expand into more commercial and agricultural work and hope to undertake the SQE later this year and finally qualify as a solicitor!!!
What advice would you give students who are considering becoming a solicitor – are there particular A-levels/degrees that you would recommend? This probably isn’t the right thing to say, buy honestly to choose the subjects you enjoy. There are so many different routes to becoming a solicitor now, including the traditional degree/LPC way to apprenticeships that, providing you can demonstrate you can cope with the workload, then I think most subjects will be good to gain transferrable skills that can be used in your future career path. There is no point studying something because someone else thinks you should, in my opinion. This will only bog you down and you will have little motivation if you aren’t enjoying the subject. Life is stressful enough without dreading school and college because you were forced down a line that isn’t right for you.