After spending the summer gaining legal work experience in New York, I came back home to England and everything I did from that moment was focused on qualifying as a lawyer in the U.S. I started to act intentionally and with a purpose.
I started a new position at the company I worked for. The role was an advisory role, providing advice over the telephone. Up until that moment, as a person with a stammer, I had "avoided" or "limited" myself from talking to people over the phone and having lengthy conversations with people I didn't know. This was because I stammered more when speaking over the telephone and felt more comfortable speaking to people face to face.
The new job would require me to speak to between 20-40 people everyday about serious and sensitive issues and providing clear and accurate advice and information over the phone. I saw it as preparation for what I was now pursing, because as a lawyer, I would be put in situations where I would have to hold conference calls, do presentations, attend court hearings and lengthy trials and many other things. If I couldn't come out of my comfort zone and advice people over the telephone, how would I be able to deliver as a lawyer when communicating verbally in certain environments?
I learnt and developed a lot from this role. I worked there for one year before moving on to something else, and it was definitely a job that helped me to come out of my comfort zone, boosted my confidence and developed my knowledge and understanding of family law issues and the role of our local government's social services.
When I started the job, I had 5 months to go before I would commence the bar review course to prepare for the New York Bar Exam. I decided to do some independent background reading on the United States Constitution and contract law, to familiarise myself with some U.S law. I did this in between working and other commitments.
I also decided that I would not take any holidays or trips abroad. Everything I engaged in had to solely be for my personal development and qualifying as a U.S lawyer. I could not afford to be side tracked or spend money unnecessarily because I knew the journey to the New York Bar would cost me a lot of money, effort, dedication and time.