Welcome Katie Bennett15th February 2019
At Gilbert Stephens Solicitors, we are a dynamic firm and we recruit carefully to ensure that we have a strong and dedicated team in order to meet the demands and exceed the expectations of our clients.
We are very pleased to introduce our latest team member, Conveyancing Executive Katie Bennett. Katie is working towards a Licensed Conveyancer qualification in our Exeter office.
Katie knows the area well, having grown up in Crediton as part of a large and supportive family, and loves Devon enough that she chose to stay and build her career here.
We asked Katie a few questions to get to know what motivates her and what brought her to a career in law.
Why did you choose to work at Gilbert Stephens Solicitors?
I already knew a few people who worked here who were incredibly happy. It is a really strong firm and I received a great feeling from the staff members I spoke to, both in my interview and throughout the whole process.
What drew you to this career path? Can you tell us about the journey?
I fell into this career by accident, really. My degree is in Equitation Science, which is sports science within horse sports. For this I studied sports psychology, training of the sports horse and coaching. I was a self-employed groom/trainer specialising in rehabilitating dangerous horses, when a family friend offered me a few hours as her admin assistant working from her cottage. She said I was good at it, I enjoyed it and the career path spiralled from there.
Why did you choose this as your specialist area, and if you had to choose another, which would it be?
I suppose I didn’t really choose it, it chose me, in a way. I helped with private client and family law in the first firm I worked for and found that I quite enjoyed private client work. So, if I wasn’t doing conveyancing, I would probably be working in wills and probate.
Can you explain a bit about what your area of expertise involves and how it helps people?
I am an all-round residential conveyancer, although I do get very excited when I get to sink my teeth into an unregistered property. I have worked in new build conveyancing too, but being a bit of a history nut, I love old deeds!
I think what really matters in any area of law is your work ethic and the way you are able to manage clients’ expectations and meet their needs.
What do you find most satisfying about your work?
Nothing is the same, each day is different, it’s very hard to get bored in a job like this.
Which parts of working in law do you think can be challenging?
Probably communicating with clients about things that are very important to them. I make it a rule to try and explain processes to clients, why I am doing certain things etc., as this can help the client to realise that we are on their side, it is our job to look after them.
I also find that by helping them to understand the processes, it helps to take away the mystery a little, which reduces potential stress. Every client has different needs and it is so rewarding to complete the transaction with a happy client at the end.
Do you have any advice for others who are considering a career in law?
Do not expect it to be easy. It’s hard work and can be stressful, but it is also rewarding when your hard work turns into the career you want. And don’t put off until tomorrow anything that you can do today.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Too many things! But I still have a horse whom I acquired straight from racing. He’s now fully retired and going blind, but thoroughly loved and spoilt. I also create costumes for competitions, my speciality being gowns, and I’ve even won competitions with some of them. I regularly sing for an event in London that is held in May and October.
Do you have any ambitions, professional or personal, that you would like to pursue?
Professional – qualify! I am working towards my CLC qualifications at present. I have almost completed my level 4 which will give me a Conveyancing Technician certificate. But I would like to go on to do my Level 6 so that I have the full qualification.
Personal – probably to improve my costuming skills and win one of the national or even international competitions! I have qualified for the South West Championships more than once, but as yet have not managed to gain a place in the nationals.
What does your desk look like, do you have anything personal on it yet?
I have two special mugs that I have brought into work. Both are Disney themed. One has Mrs Potts on and a motivational line from the movie. The other is a tea cup in the shape of her son Chip. I also have my novelty slippers under my desk for when it is cold!
Gilbert Stephens would like to wish Katie the best of luck in her work. We are very happy to have her on the team and look forward to seeing her accomplish her goals.
If you would like to know more about careers at Gilbert Stephens, take a look at the Careers page on our website www.gilbertstephens.co.uk/careers/
or call our HR Manager, Sarah Judd on 01392 424242.