AN aspiring lawyer who ran a national charity while completing her university studies has been rewarded with a training contract at Samuel Phillips Law Firm.
Jennifer Atkinson, 24, from Durham City, joined Samuel Phillips in September, and will complete a two-year training contract which will see her gain experience in all of the firm’s legal departments.
Since 2008, Jennifer has been involved with Trevor Sorbie’s national charity, My New Hair, which provides advice and support for people suffering from medical hair loss.
Among its activities, the charity trains hairstylists to provide and style wigs for those who have lost their hair.
Ms Atkinson’s original involvement was as a volunteer, inspired by her mother who worked as a Macmillan Nurse.
However, while completing her legal studies at Northumbria University, she began working for the charity, most recently as its national programme manager.
She said: “My New Hair is a charity I am passionate about.
It has been a labour of love.
“However, it has also given me a range of skills which are valid in my legal career.
“I’ve been involved in fundraising and managing the charity’s resources, as well as lobbying the Department of Health.
“I have also learned to communicate with people who are facing issues which are upsetting or angering them, and as a solicitor communication will be vitally important.”
Ms Atlinson also has a good understanding of the construction industry having completed her first degree in Architecture at Sheffield University, before converting to law with a graduate diploma in law, followed by the legal practice course, at Northumbria University.
Jennifer Goldstein, partner with Samuel Phillips Law Firm, said: “For someone fresh from their studies, Jennifer has genuine experience, and a proven grasp for business.
“It is rare to find someone leaving college who can demonstrate not only such experience but also real passion for her work, and compassion for those who she has been working for and with.
“Jennifer’s background is impressive.
“She has shown great commitment working and studying in recent years, and will no doubt develop into an excellent solicitor.”