We recently spoke to Sarah Louise Walker, head of the wills, trusts, tax and probate team in Weightmans’ Birmingham office. In our interview, Sarah gives her advice to budding private client solicitors, shared with us her love for her furry feline friends and explains what makes Weightmans different from other law firms.
What do you find most enjoyable about your role at Weightmans?
My role is really diverse but the part I enjoy most is training the junior staff members and helping them progress their careers as solicitors within the team. It’s incredibly satisfying seeing people reach their full potential and enjoying their roles.
What do you think sets Weightmans apart from other law firms?
I think all firms like to think their culture is what sets them apart but I can truly say that the culture at Weightmans has blown me away. There is a real work-life balance provided by flexible/agile working and the team structure provides a very supportive atmosphere.
What advice would you give to trainee solicitors hoping to qualify into private client?
Get as much experience and learn as many relevant skills as possible. If you have your heart set on the area then be prepared to pursue your dream. I grew up near Sheffield and moved to the Midlands purely because I was offered the chance to train in Private Client when many local firms were not investing in the area. It’s a massively rewarding area of law so be prepared to work up from the bottom if needed to achieve your aim.
If you hadn’t been a lawyer, what would have been your alternative career path?
My dream job was a forensic scientist but I was utterly useless at science! Before I fell into law by taking a temp secretary job, I was looking at training in hotel management which is very different from what I do now…….
What do you do to relax after a busy day in the office?
I breed and show pedigree cats – there’s nothing better to help wind down than playing with a lapful of kittens.
What was the last book you read?
I recently re-read Dan Brown’s Origin – I find the potential ethical dilemma posed by advanced use of artificial intelligence fascinating!
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
David Beckham, Kevin Pietersen and Frankie Dettori – you can probably work out my favourite sports from that list and Michelle Obama because I find her inspirational.
About Sarah Louise Walker
Sarah heads up the wills, trusts, tax and probate team at Weightmans’ office in Birmingham and also covers the firm’s London and Leicester offices. She is a full member of the Society and Trust and Estate Practitioners. Sarah is a Private Client specialist and advises on all Tax Planning, Trust and Wills and Probate matters putting her client’s needs first.