Jess Hopkins

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Law
Job title: Solicitor
Subject of study: Law
Year of graduation: 2016
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?

I graduated from the University of Exeter back in 2016 (Law LLB). After working as a paralegal in my home town and some travelling in the USA, I joined Michelmores in September 2019, trained largely during the pandemic and qualified as a Solicitor into our Transactional Real Estate team in 2021!

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

The intellectual challenge, mixture and quality of the work and collaborating with colleagues. I get involved with general landlord and tenant matters, assisting in the sale and purchase of commercial property, asset management, and advising on the property aspects of corporate acquisitions. This can be across multiple different sectors which can be anything ranging from potential football takeovers to biodiversity habitat creation (to name a few).

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

I played BUCS for EULFC.

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

I always remember in first year we were placed into “mini law firms” who we would stick with to do our smaller seminar/workshops throughout the entire degree. We all became close very quickly and I am still great friends with them, some of whom are also lawyers, but others doing something completely non-law related!

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

It was always a very work hard play hard place! I was either stuck in a law textbook or playing football, which suited me down to a tee (with the occasional visit to TP).

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

It has a great reputation both for academics and sport.

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

Skills: Problem solving, adaptability and teamwork. Experience: I didn’t launch straight into a fully fledged career in law once I had graduated. I decided to get some paralegal experience to get a flavour for it and this also improved my confidence and helped me hit the ground running when I started as a Trainee Solicitor.

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

Be yourself – I know that’s cliché and I used to hate everyone who gave me that advice when I was a student as I didn’t seem to be getting anywhere with graduate applications, but it’s true. You’ll find your place and the right opportunity will come your way if you’re patient and work hard.

What are your plans for the future?

A long and fulfilling career with Michelmores hopefully!


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.