Rachel Dawson, Associate Chartered Legal Executive in the Wills, Trusts and Probate team, talks about her career journey this International Women’s Day.

Brief introduction on your career and time with Ellisons

I joined the Firm in August last year, in the Ipswich Private Client Department and specialise in Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Inheritance Tax planning, Probate, Trusts, and Court of Protection Orders. This was around the time that life was just starting to get back to normal after Covid.  This was fantastic as it meant that I was able to meet face to face with clients straight away, get in involved in various business development and networking activities and best of all attend staff events, which allowed me to get to know my new colleagues. My favourite thing about working here is the culture of the Firm and core values. We really do work as one team right across the Firm, hard work is generously rewarded and there is a clear, structured path for career progression.

I have over 16 years’ experience working within the Private Client Sector. I started my career in law at the age of 19 at a local law firm as a Legal Secretary. I then enrolled on the CILEX course and progressed to a fee earning role, as a trainee Chartered Legal Executive. I qualified as a Chartered Legal Executive in 2013 and further qualified as a Trust and Estate Practitioner with STEP in 2021. Having worked in so many different roles within law, I feel I have acquired so many additional skills that I may not have done, had it not been for the varied experience, which I am very grateful for.

Have you ever faced career challenges? How did you overcome these challenges?

I always knew that I wanted a progressive career in law.  Having to manage study time whilst working and being a Mum with young children, was definitely the biggest challenge. There were times in my early career when the nursery fees were almost as much as I was earning and there were moments when I did ask myself whether it was really all worth it. Luckily I was able to overcome this, by focusing on the future and reminding myself that I wouldn’t be paying those nursery fees forever, my salary would increase as I progressed and I would be able to provide more for my family if I just stuck with it. I’m so glad I did!

Do you have any words of wisdom for women starting out in their career?

There will be times in your career when unfortunately, people will try and put you down or make you doubt your ability. Don’t let this be something that holds you back, let it be the fuel that drives you to success and enjoy the fulfilment of proving them wrong.