The beginnings of my story may be familiar for many law and LPC graduates who joined the rat race amidst the financial crisis. Leaving law school without a training contract quickly became my own crisis! So I embarked on a longer and slightly unusual journey to qualification, eventually training and qualifying in-house in a two-person legal team in an international IT company. Training this way ended up being extremely invigorating; I was learning to run, not walk, and soon after qualification I was already thinking “what next?”.
That’s when I read about LOD. My initial thoughts were that this would be a great way to develop my legal career across multiple industries. I saw an opportunity to work in a range of different companies and legal teams that varied in size, set-up and types of work.
I contacted LOD, explained that I had qualified in-house not long ago and now I wanted to try something different. I went to the interview, took the technical test, and then I waited (I actually only waited a week, but waiting is not a virtue I have, despite my detour to qualification!). In an attempt to distract myself, I walked up the O2 – not something you do every day… Whilst at the top, I took my phone out to take a snap of my then office, and saw an email from LOD pop up on my screen. I had passed!
As I started planning for my new chapter, it dawned on me that this was not only an opportunity for my legal career, but also for another goal I have: to turn my love for baking into a business.
My baking generally has had two reactions from people: either “Wow, you should open your own cake shop one day [when you’re not a lawyer]!” or “Don’t be ridiculous.”. Despite one being positive and one negative, both reactions ultimately gave the same opinion – law and cakes are mutually exclusive*. No-one would ever take a cake-maker seriously as a lawyer and a serious lawyer would have no time for a cake business. Very few people were telling me that it is possible to do both… that was, until I became an LOD lawyer.
LOD were not aware of my baking initially, because I was used to trying to keep lawyer-Kay and cake-Kay separate. I mentioned it under “interests” in my CV, but generally didn’t elaborate much more in conversations that centred around my legal career. It was between my first and second assignment when I told LOD. By chance, Cake International 2015 was taking place at London Excel during this time. I had previously taken home Bronze awards in the sculpted novelty cake category of Cake International’s 2013 and 2014 competitions, so I used the downtime between LOD assignments to work full-time on my 2015 competition cake. I managed to win Bronze again, and showed the cake to LOD HQ. They were really excited for me, and have since fully supported both my cake-making and my legal work.
As an LOD lawyer, I can work full-time (or part-time depending on the assignment and my own wishes) and, at other times, I can work on building my cake business. Ok, let’s be more ambitious (because that’s what lawyers are apparently), I can work on building a cake EMPIRE! I am now a lawyer who can proudly say “Follow me on Instagram: @MiuKayBakes” (one perk of baking cakes is that I can show my work to the world without breaching confidentiality!). I am really happy and relieved to have found a way to pursue both careers, without having to choose between the two.
* the making of, not the eating – no-one has ever suggested to me that lawyers can’t eat cake, thank goodness!