Charlotte Dobson

University of Liverpool, Law (LLB)

Current rotation: Knowledge, Innovation and Legal Tech

How did you decide that a legal ops role was for you?

As a law student, I originally planned to go down the traditional training contract route.  I was aware of Slaughter and May’s reputable position in the market and I knew that working for such a firm would be an amazing and unlikely opportunity.  After seeing the Legal Operations role advertised I realised that there was a different realm of work in the legal industry for graduates aside from becoming a solicitor.  I thought that working in business services would allow for more creativity and a broader range of work. Equally, as the legal industry is becoming less traditional, I thought that the prospect of working in a rapidly evolving space would be interesting.

Can you talk through your day? Which group are you in? What does the group do?

I usually arrive at the office at 9:15 and I head into the canteen to grab breakfast. At 9:20 I sit down at my desk and get myself set up for the day to start at half past 9.  I firstly catch up on any emails that I’ve missed and jot down a list of tasks that I need to get done that day (this usually changes throughout the day as tasks with varying urgency come through).  In the Knowledge and Innovation team, a lot of the work relates to legal tech and value-add.  For example, I’m currently working on a project in which the team are creating a video on our legal tech capability.  This involves creating a script and coordinating with the relevant groups to pull the project together.  

Throughout the day I will attend a range of meetings and catch-ups. These allow me to stay up-to-date on projects so that I know what tasks I have coming up. After meeting, I will usually write up a few notes of tasks that I need to get started on.  Keeping a note of actions after a catch-up is a good way to keep organised.

I am also currently on secondment with Diageo, where I work on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The opportunity of a secondment makes my work incredibly varied day-to-day and so it’s difficult to give a full representation of a ‘day in the life’ of a Legal Ops grad!

The day finishes at 17:30.  After work I either meet up with friends near work, go to dance practice, or go straight home to chill with my flatmates.

What part of the job gives you the biggest buzz?

It’s great to work on projects where new tools are being piloted.  Projects such as these provide a great insight into the legal tech market and help me to keep up-to-date with new developments.  As I’ve only been at the firm a short while, I haven’t seen a tool go from the initial pilot phase to firm-wide rollout.  But still, it is exciting to see how different tools are received across the firm.

What has been your favourite project to work on to date and why?

I have really enjoyed working on projects using StructureFlow. In particular, I enjoyed re-creating a process map of the M&A process using the tool. This was one of the first projects I worked on; it was particularly interesting because it allowed me to understand how the legal tech tool worked in practice, whilst also exposing me to how the client is involved in work with the firm.  This project was part of a wider commitment to adding value services and it has been interesting to see how Slaughter and May enhance the client experience outside of purely transactional work.