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Case studies

Anna Williams

Name, current role and centre

Anna Williams, Employability Consultant, London

Area of law

Commercial Property and Social Housing

Previous employer

I now work at The University of Law advising students on their career choices and how to best present themselves to recruiters, be these solicitors' firms or barristers' chambers. I've been doing this for a large part of my career, until recently at Kaplan Law School and before that as the founder of CityLawLIVE and the editor of Chambers Student Guide for 11 years. Through these roles I have built a deep understanding of the UK legal market and become adept at networking. I am now able to draw upon these experiences when advising students.


I started my career as a solicitor. I trained and then practised for six years at a medium-sized London law firm called Lewis Silkin. I felt at home in this firm and learned a terrific amount about property law, the real estate market and delivering a professional service to all sorts of clients. I liked the fact that my clients included individuals who were buying, selling or letting residential properties; housing associations that were helping to address the acute shortage of affordable homes in this country; businesses in central London - many of them dynamic and successful advertising agencies; and a wealthy family that owned properties across Mayfair.


The joy of property practice is that the assets you deal with have stories behind them, and if you handle properties in London you can see how your work contributes to transforming the city around you.

A day in the life...

Working life changes as you become more experienced as a solicitor. You gain more control over daily life and resort to your growing bank of experiences to solve problems for yourself.  I never imagined that I would connect so quickly with property practice as land law was such an impenetrable subject for me on the GDL. I completed two trainee seats in the firm's property department and quickly appreciated the ability to take ownership of my own files and make meaningful contributions to partners' work. I also enjoyed speaking to clients directly and the sense of moving transactions towards completion.

Best moments

Site visits were a treat and I still think fondly of certain projects, such as the gradual rebuilding of a large rural estate that had been parcelled up and sold at auction just after the First World War. Client gratitude is also an incredible boost, especially if it is accompanied by flowers!

Advice to students

The training contract throws one challenge at you after another so it's best to have a 'can do' attitude and try and learn from everything. Exhibiting confidence, even if you don't feel that way, is important as early as your first seat, however it comes more naturally with time. Another skill that you perfect is time management. Without it things can get on top of you and you lose focus.

My advice to students seeking training contracts or pupillages is simple. Be well researched, know what you want and know what you have to offer. Seek advice from the Employability Team to present yourself in the best way possible and listen to the impartial guidance you are given.