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31 Aug

31 August 2016

Spotlight on … Hannah Bates: Highly Commended, FirstPro Legal Professional 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.