Gemma Shepherd

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Law
Job title: Senior Associate Solicitor
Subject of study: Law
Year of graduation: 2011
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

Michelmores LLP

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

Working in Law.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I always wanted to go into law because it offers the opportunity to make a real difference in people’s lives and engage in intellectually stimulating work. I really enjoy my work. As a Trust, Tax and Succession lawyer I get to deal with a wide variety of people and matters. No one day is the same.

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was a member of the law society at university which helped me build my network with people who had similar interests and ambitions.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I particularly enjoyed the variety of courses that you got to choose from. One of the elective modules that I chose was employment law which I found particularly fascinating.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved the campus and city. There is lots to do and get involved in and around Exeter.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Exeter is an excellent university for Law and that was particularly important to me. I also loved the campus and the City of Exeter as a location.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

After university I worked as a paralegal for 6 months before starting my training contract. I learnt so much in those 6 months about how a law firm works, what it takes to succeed as a junior in a law firm and time recording! These were skills that you don’t learn whilst reading Law or undertaking your LPC. The lessons learnt in my first six months after graduating were invaluable to my future career.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

Studying law is hard work but worth it in the end. Employers are not only looking for candidates with great grades but also experience and the additional wow factor so if you can, on top of your studies, get involved in lots of activities outside of your education to bolster your CV. You won’t regret it!

What are your plans for the future?

I am a strong advocate for older and vulnerable clients and am passionate about ensuring equal access to justice. I am the South West regional director for Solicitors for the Elderly and am keen to grow my presence within this amazing national organisation and continue my work as a brand ambassador for SFE in the South West.


Similar Alumni

Tara Dunne

Trinity Chambers. I completed the Barrister training course before becoming a Family Law Paralegal in a law firm in London. I then obtained the role as a County Court Advocate, presenting oral submissions in court on a range of civil law matters.

Jasmine Murphy

Gatehouse Chambers. After leaving Exeter in 1998 I undertook Bar School part time while working part time in London as a receptionist. In 2002 I obtained a pupillage at Hardwicke Building, following which I was offered a tenancy. I have practiced there (although we changed our name to Gatehouse Chambers in 2021) ever since and specialise in personal injury and professional negligence work.