31 August 2016
Hannah Bates’ legal career started when she was awarded a Sports Scholarship to attend Coventry University and chose to study law and business. She has been part of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Team at Shakespeare Martineau for around a year.
How did you feel when you won?
I was surprised and happy; I certainly hadn’t expected it. In truth, though I was dreading the steps to the stage!!
When Emma and I were back in the office (Legal Category winner Emma Gamble is a partner at Shakespeare Martineau) we were really spoilt – they popped the Champagne corks!
Which achievements are you most proud of?
There are two that really stand out. I had always wanted to be a lawyer and getting here is a long process and takes a huge amount of hard work. After the years of study and hard work the Admission Ceremony was very special, the icing on the cake.
Last year I was named Young Lawyer of the Year; the recognition is wonderful.
Where will your ambitions take you next?
The awards are giving me a brilliant platform for my career at Shakespeare Martineau. The firm has a great culture and emphasises personal development; I’m determined to be an associate within a couple of years.
In terms of the areas that interest me, I grew up on a farm so am really pleased to be part of the team developing our agriculture and rural affairs services.
What do you do outside work?
I help out on the family farm which involves rolling up my sleeves, driving tractors or looking after the animals. Being hands-on on the farm really helps me connect with my clients. I was recently approached about a faulty TB test and I really understood the implications.
And you’re walking to the Gold Coast?
Not literally! The firm has given us all a FitBit and we have a firm-wide challenge to walk to the Gold Coast in Australia. I’m definitely walking more now as a result and its really building up our team spirits during the Olympics!
What would you say to someone thinking of entering FirstPro?
Do it! Don’t hesitate!
I enjoy being part of the Young Professionals network and have made some great friends. The mentoring scheme has also been really valuable. It’s definitely worth getting involved.