“Adapting your communication style is an underrated business skill”
As a former Newcastle Falcons rugby player, solicitor Laura Brydon still has her eye on the ball as the newest member to join the team at Gordon Brown Law Firm in Chester-le-Street.
What did you want to be when you were young?
I was quite single-minded and from a relatively young age I have always known that I wanted to be a solicitor.
How did you end up in your job?
Having graduated in Law from the University of Sunderland in 2006 and having completed both the Legal Practice Course and a Masters in Law at Northumbria University in 2007, I started working for Longden Walker and Renney Solicitors of Sunderland in July 2007 as a paralegal and during my time there I completed my training contract, qualifying as a fully-fledged solicitor in November 2012. Then in October 2015 I joined Gordon Brown Law Firm as a solicitor in the wealth management department.
Have qualifications got you where you are, has it been sheer hard work and talent or a combination?
I have no doubt that it is a combination of qualifications, hard work and talent that have got me where I am today. The qualifications I achieved at university certainly stood me in good stead and gave me a solid grounding in the legal profession.
However, it would not have been possible to simply rest on my laurels and hard work and determination have enabled me to achieve all that I have since graduating.
What advice would you give someone else just starting out in your industry?
Apply yourself to your studies and gain as much experience as possible. For example my time spent as a paralegal was extremely valuable as it gave me an in-depth understanding of the profession and the role that I would come to have as a qualified solicitor.
Do you feel pressure being a role model to others?
I don’t feel pressure being a role model to others as I have a genuine enthusiasm for my work and I hope that this presents a positive influence.
Do you prefer networking on social media or meeting people in person?
Although I do use networking on social media, which is now a part of everyday life, I get a great deal of satisfaction from meeting people face-to-face and so I much prefer meeting clients in person.
What is a very underrated business skill that you think should be used more?
One very underrated business skill is the ability to adapt your communication style to suit a particular client or situation. As a solicitor you deal with a range of clients, from those with an understanding of law and legal processes to those without. It is important that you can adapt to each situation so that clients do not get confused by legal jargon.
How will your industry evolve in the next five years?
The legal profession as a whole will continue to evolve in the next five years with the increasing emergence of ‘non-traditional’ competitors such as banks and supermarket retailers, as they establish their own competitive legal services departments.
My area of practice; probate, wills and trusts, is also set to evolve in the next five years following the implementation of legislation such as the Care Act 2014. With an ever-ageing population clients are becoming increasingly concerned by changes in care regulations and the impact such legislation will have on them and their future generations.
Which three people (alive/dead celebrity or not) would you like to work with?
David Attenborough because he is a fascinating person with a wealth of knowledge, great passion and enthusiasm and would be a fantastic mentor, Winston Churchill as he was an inspirational and charismatic leader and John Bishop because he is well grounded and he finds humour in everyday life, which would lift spirits when the going gets tough.
What would be surprised to know about you?
I was a member of the Newcastle Falcons Ladies Under 21s Rugby Development Squad, I ran the Great North Run for the first time this year to raise funds for the charity Tiny Lives and I’m one of five sisters.