The LawCareers.Net Handbook 2021

Name: Rizwana Quazi Firm: Kingsley Napley LLP Location: London University: LondonMetropolitanUniversity (formerly theUniversityof NorthLondon) Degree: Law

people live off this stress, so it can work – but I think it’s important to realise that it doesn’t work for everyone. I believe that there is far more awareness of this in our industry and certainly at my firm. At Kingsley Napley, we are big on work-life balance.” Expert advice Rizwana concludes with some advice for aspiring solicitors: “Be proactive and have foresight. You must also be able to manage and work with your clients. Often, you’ll have clients that are set in their ways. As their solicitor, you should be able to communicate what the implications are if they don’t want to make changes. You also have to manage expectations and be frank, firm and – most importantly – fair.” Another hugely important aspect is business development: “Because we do a lot of seminars, webinars andmarketing, there is a big focus on business development at whatever level you’re at. Whether you’re a paralegal, trainee or partner, business development is somuch more important now. Yes, you have to know the law and keep up to date, but law students will benefit frombeing able tomake friends and network. It’s important to be well-rounded.” Above all, Rizwana says “you need to believe in the same values as your firm. If you have things that are very important to you, try to get your experience with a firm that values those things too. I’ve worked for various businesses and firms and I love where I am now because of their values and integrity. Your wellbeing is so important.” Her parting advice is to “develop your career in a place you feel comfortable, a place where you’re not afraid to say what you believe or voice your opinion. It’s so important to feel accepted for who you are and know that you’re a valid person. I believe that you can’t develop unless you get the freedom to be who you are.”

recruiting highly skilled talent who may no longer want to relocate to the UK.”

Not only that, says Rizwana, but “a lot of employers haven’t previously needed to worry about their European workforce – there were no real immigration concerns with this population, however Brexit then brought a lot of questions from employers about how to safeguard their workforce, how to support them and how best to plan for employees’ futures.” In light of all of the uncertainty, there has been a focus on providing clients with the most up-to-date information: “We spend a lot of time explaining the facts, but these keep changing, so we consistently hold workshops to keep everyone in the know. Once Brexit happens, the dynamics will change, as will our role.” Rizwana’s personal experience highlights how quickly everything is changing: “It’s quite frustrating because you don’t know. You can only plan hypothetical situations. Companies may decide to leave even though they don’t need to, whereas other clients are willing to wait and see – you have to manage everyone’s expectations. It will certainly have an impact on us directly, but our duty and role in the current climate is to give clients the necessary knowledge.” Wellbeing in the workplace Rizwana serves on the wellbeing committee at Kingsley Napley and believes that a healthy work-life balance is essential: “There is a big emphasis at Kingsley Napley on wellbeing and mental health. Our industry is stressful and the hours are long. When I started, I didn’t know that my career would have such an impact on my mental wellbeing. “Especially in business immigration, it doesn’t matter how much you prepare or how many hours you work, you’re always faced with situations that you haven’t planned for. Some


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