During her time at Bott and Co, Saphina has risen through the ranks from Office Junior to Office Administrator and more recently on to Portal Fee Earner. Whilst working, she has also been studying through the Bott Academy to further her career.
We spend 5 minutes getting to know more about Saphina and how she stays motivated enough to study in the evenings after helping clients with their claims during the day.
When did you decide you wanted a career in Law?
I knew I wanted to pursue a career in Law when I finished my GCSEs. I’ve always had an inquisitive mind and found it interesting applying rules to solve problems.
What has your experience in different roles taught you?
My role as an Office Administrator taught me how Bott and Co operates as a firm and how something as simple as placing a letter in the correct file is crucial to a case.
The most important thing my role in admin taught me was to be confident when speaking to people on the phone, especially clients. All the roles I have been in so far have taught me how important it is to be organised.
What challenges have you faced while studying and working?
It’s hard to find time to study while working 9am ‘til 5.30pm and I’m often tired when I get home, so it’s hard to find the motivation to study.
I try and get a lot of work done in short bursts of time instead of making myself sit and study for hours every night. I also go to the gym after work to break the night up before I go home to study.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to become a Portal Fee Earner without going to University?
If you feel like university isn’t for you, starting as a Legal Apprentice and working your way up from being an Office Junior to an Office Administrator is a good way to become a Portal Fee Earner. That way you’re getting first-hand experience by working in a law firm plus you still have the opportunity to study CILEx and get a qualification.
I found that working amongst Fee Earners helped me as I would watch what was going on and how people were dealing with certain situations. I learned a lot from the people I work with.
What do you do when you are not working?
When I’m not working I go to the gym or to the cinema or shopping with friends. I love baking when I get the time; my signature dish is chocolate cake, which is what I usually bake for the charity bake sales at work. One slice of it would probably cover your calorie intake for the day.
If you were queen for the day what law would you pass and why?
If I were queen for a day I would pass a law to make sure that charities receive 100% of any money donated to them, rather than just a small percentage. I think this is important; the charities would be much more productive in the work they do if they received the full donation.
Describe your Christmas day…
I open presents with my mum, dad and brother first thing; I still can’t help getting up ridiculously early with the excitement of opening presents.
Then I make breakfast with my mum (usually pancakes or waffles) before spending most of the day at my nana and grandad’s. We open more presents there and spend the day eating, drinking and watching Christmas films.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?
I would like either to have continued to progress at Bott and Co or have won the lottery and be travelling around the world on my private yacht.
What has been your favourite place you have visited and why?
The best place I’ve visited is Jamaica. The beaches are beautiful and I love their food, music and culture. I visited there earlier this year; I climbed a waterfall and spent the rest of the time on the beach eating jerk chicken, drinking red stripe beer and listening to reggae music. I didn’t want to come home.
If you weren’t in the legal industry, what would you be and why?
I would be a travel journalist. I enjoy writing and would love to travel the world and see different cultures.