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July 1

Flex and Freshfields: Redefining Legal Careers

Case Studies

Lizzie Grayson

Lizzie Grayson

Flex Legal/Freshfields Paralegals: Yeelen and Diana

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is one of the world's oldest firms, operating in over 150 countries worldwide. Flex Legal's Manchester Hub sits as a strategic part of the firm's Client Delivery Group, carrying out over 420 placements to date.

We recently caught up with Diana and Yeelen, two Flex paralegals who have both worked at Freshfields, to delve into their experiences and gain an insight into how this collaboration has helped them on their legal journeys.

Flex Legal provides a gateway to exceptional talent, curated specifically to meet the high demands of global firms such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. With a presence in 150 countries, Freshfields consistently utilises our platform to source top-tier candidates who consistently surpass expectations. 

Our candidates excel in navigating complex legal landscapes and seamlessly integrate into high-profile interim projects wherever they are placed; our recent collaboration with Freshfields highlights this. Flex excels in providing outstanding individuals like Diana and Yeelen, who amplify excellence throughout doc review, critical due diligence, and astute legal analysis across pivotal practice areas such as Dispute Resolution, Antitrust, Competition, and global transactions.

Diana Mihalova

Diana is an LLB Graduate from Birmingham City University, and is currently studying her SQE 1. She moved to the UK at age 8, and learned English as a second language. It's been a journey filled with growth, from overcoming language barriers to learning the legal system. And now, as she embarks on the next chapter of her legal career, she is more motivated than ever to make a difference in the field.

Diana joined the team at Freshfields following an urgent request for support on a Document Review project; she's been with the team since mid-April. She received great feedback on her work, and the team were incredibly impressed with how helpful she has been.

Here are her thoughts on the role:

‘As an aspiring commercial solicitor, it has been super interesting to get an insight into a commercial firm, such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Working within a team of like-minded, motivated people has been amazing. During my time here, I've had the privilege of being exposed to fascinating cases, allowing me to deepen my understanding of commercial law. Additionally, I've had the opportunity to refine my attention to detail and document review skills. Overall, it's been an incredibly valuable experience that blends practical learning with my passion for commercial law.’

As an aspiring commercial solicitor, it has been super interesting to get an insight into a commercial firm, such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Working within a team of like-minded, motivated people has been amazing.

Diana Mihalova, Flex Paralegal

She says that working through Flex Legal has been an amazingly smooth experience. She very kindly added: ‘Lizzie has been amazing and has actively worked to help me enhance my profile, ensuring it stands out. Securing my legal position through Flex Legal was super efficient, the whole team made sure the process is smooth without any delays or complications.

... what sets Flex Legal apart is their unwavering support system and even after joining a role, the team maintains regular communication and offers ongoing assistance, demonstrating their genuine investment in your success.’

When we asked Diana what her advice would be to anyone looking to take their first steps in the legal sector, she provided us with these words of wisdom: ‘To any aspiring solicitor or young professionals who have an interest in working as a paralegal. Don’t give up! Law is a very competitive field but don’t be discouraged. During my interview stages I have learned that being yourself is highly valued. Show your enthusiasm for the area of law you want to work in, and show your genuine self and passion for the work you want to do.’

Yeelen Fomete

Yeelen is a Cameroonian-American aspiring solicitor, and has amazingly lived in six countries! Having spent time in the US, Tanzania, South Africa, Kenya, The Netherlands, and England, he feels that such exposure to people from varying backgrounds and cultural practices from a young age has helped him develop an appreciation for, and ability to, build strong, lasting relationships with colleagues and clients from diverse backgrounds.

Yeelen joined the team at Freshfields in November 2023, and has been working on a variety of projects since. He’s had consistently strong feedback, and has been described as a pleasure to work with, incredibly professional, and hard working.

We asked Yeelen what drew him to commercial law, an area that Freshfields practice heavily in: ‘My passion for commercial law took root during my university years, where I actively engaged in legal events and gained practical experience. Attending an introductory commercial law session hosted by my university's law society in my first year was a pivotal moment. Given my international background and interests, the prospect of engaging in multi-jurisdictional work and international opportunities fuelled my aspirations to pursue a career as a commercial solicitor.’

Yeelen is having an incredibly successful time with Freshfields, and we were interested to find out what he felt the most interesting element of his work was.

I’ve really appreciated the diversity of the work that’s been put in front of me in my current role. As a strong believer of first-hand experience being the most effective teacher, I feel that this exposure to various practice areas has been fantastic for my development as a lawyer.

Yeelen Fomete, Flex Paralegal

Yeelen says that his tenure with Flex Legal has been remarkably positive. In fact, it was through Flex that he landed his first legal work opportunity at Freshfields while completing the third year of his undergraduate studies at the University of Manchester. ‘Over the past two years as a Flex candidate, I've consistently received unwavering support and genuine warmth from the Flex team whenever I've approached them with questions or concerns.’

When we asked Yeelen to share in his own words some advice for people looking to gain their own legal experience, this is what he shared: ‘For those embarking on a journey into paralegal work, I strongly recommend fostering a positive attitude, embracing an open mind, and nurturing a growth mindset. While the tasks may sometimes seem administrative, it's crucial for aspiring paralegals to acknowledge the significance of their role in the broader legal landscape. Take the time to understand how each task contributes to your growth and development toward becoming a proficient solicitor, be respectful and affable with everybody you meet, and you’ll do great.’

In Summary

We’re thrilled to work with both Diana and Yeelen, and we have so many more stories of paralegals joining exciting legal teams up and down the country. Though each project is different and comes with its own challenges, one thing remains constant: Flex Legal is committed to supporting legal professionals throughout their journey. Whether this is seeking experience to aid the route to qualification, taking time away from fixed employment to embrace flexibility, or simply an aspiration to try something new, we’re here to connect you to your professional goals. We’re proud to have played a small part in Diana’s and Yeelen’s journey, and we thank both of them immensely for sharing their thoughts and advice. We can’t wait to see what’s next for them!

Inspired by our standout candidates? Contact us today to elevate your legal team!