Graduate Camilla shines a light on her law career
University of Northampton Law graduate, Camilla Jagger, joined current students to explore the depth and breadth of legal professions in a guest lecture this week.
Camilla graduated from the University of Northampton with a first-class law degree in 2010 and is now Head of Operations – UK, at leading law firm, DLA Piper, where she helps the Country Managing Partner with the management of operations and strategy for the firm’s seven offices and 2,500 staff.
Talking to students, she outlined her first steps after graduation, searching for a job in law in a highly competitive post-recession job market. Camilla shared her story of applying for training contacts that were few and far between and vastly oversubscribed. Not deterred by the competitive nature of the job market, Camilla took an assistant position in the Finance team within a law firm and this kickstarted her non-traditional career.
Speaking to law students, Camilla said: “I’ve not had a traditional legal career, and that’s something I’m keen to champion. There are so many routes open to students with the skills you gain from studying law, far wider than traditional practice.”
Early in her career, Camilla developed in interest in finance within the legal sector, training for her Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA) qualification whilst working for Hogan Lovells, Bircham Dyson Bell & Ashurst.
Although she had always wanted to be a lawyer, Camilla developed a passion for the strategic business infrastructure around the legal practice and found her strength in making the commercial decisions driving the firms she’s worked within.
Shedding light on the big disruptors for the legal sector, she said: “Tech developments for the legal sector are hugely exciting. The profession is moving towards a ‘more with less’ business model, which focuses on giving the client the best possible services by the most appropriate members of the team, rather than charging structures and billable hours driving the business momentum. My role at DLA Piper works to align and engage all the people working for the firm towards that common goal and enable innovation and engagement.”
Camilla believes that her undergraduate law degree from Northampton gave her the foundations for a successful career. When asked for her top tips for landing a role in the legal sector, she said: “I truly loved my degree at Northampton. The programme gave me so many critical skills that I use every day.
“The opportunities you have open to you as students at Northampton are so valuable, you must push yourself outside of your comfort zones and embrace these opportunities and most importantly ask questions. These experiences will develop your skills, and importantly give you something to talk about on your CV and at interviews. This really will help set you apart from other candidates.
“I hope that by talking to students today and widening the conversation about where a legal education can take them, I’ve inspired them to think about the various options open for future legal professionals. A law firm holds an array of exciting and challenging careers both for aspiring lawyers and other business professionals.”
Camilla was awarded a certificate of Outstanding Academic Achievement, the Max Engel Memorial Bursary, and the Northamptonshire Law Society Prize.