“Who is your favourite judge?”. I tuned back into the conversation and looked blankly at my colleague. I didn’t know anyone had a favourite judge. I don’t have a favourite judge. Should I have a favourite judge? Do all good lawyers have favourite judges? Why am I spending another late night in the office, talking about judges for light relief, when what I really want to do is finish this and go? Maybe, just maybe, I need a rethink…
And so the seed was planted that led me to consider how I saw the next few years panning out and what my career goals were and, ultimately, to leave the city law firm I was with and take a role as an in-house lawyer, first in London and then in the UAE. Those were, I thought, your choices as an ambitious solicitor; law firm or in-house. It wasn’t until a friend took me on a trip to the Gold and Diamond Park in Dubai – “just window shopping, mind” – that I began to wonder if there was another way.
With my face pressed against window after window of twinkling, beguiling jewels I discovered a twinkling passion for gemstones and began to wonder whether I could combine a career in the law with learning more about these natural wonders of the world. And when my now husband asked me if I wanted to swap my freedom, career and the sunshine of the UAE for a sparkly ring and a return to English summers I said yes, packed my bags and picked up the phone to a lawyer I knew (that’s you, Jon Esson) who worked for a set-up called Lawyers On Demand. And thank goodness I did.
What appealed to me most about Jon’s description was that LOD were “forward thinking people you could have a sensible conversation with”, which has proved totally true.
Alongside a career that at last feels fulfilling, I’ve started on my path as a qualified gemmologist and added some letters after my name in the process (Cert. GA, thank you for asking). I’m studying for full professional gemmologist status and whilst surrounding myself with precious stones makes the inner diva in me happy, my outer diva is satisfied by having the time to indulge in the rhinestones and glitter of amateur dramatics. Top this all off with regular adventures with our much-loved spaniel Molly and our first baby due in December and I feel a long, very happy, way from where I started with this blog. Though probably still truly a lawyer at heart because, after all, I haven’t forgotten that conversation about judges; it’s probably Lord Denning, by the way. Isn’t he everyone’s?