October '21 Paralegal of the Month: Jasper Sannes
Hi Jasper! Could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about your background?My name is Jasper, and I have been working through Flex as a paralegal since April. I was born in the Netherlands but grew up in Norway and went to high school in California. I obtained an LL.B in International Law in the Netherlands but decided to move to the UK in October 2020. It was initially (the idea of moving to the UK came about in 2019) my intention to work towards the GDL/LPC but instead, I’m studying for the SQE.
How did you first become interested in working in law?This is a bit of a journey! I remember that as a child, I thought of being a lawyer as something empowering. While I was living in the US, I became increasingly interested in political science and the role of the judiciary in a state. When studying International Law, I had an eye at foreign relations but the courses in commercial law convinced me otherwise.
Could you tell us about your experience working through Flex Legal?It has been an amazing experience! Things were a bit slow in the beginning. I signed up for Flex in December 2019 while I was still living in the Netherlands. I was keeping my fingers crossed for a more or less swift move but the pandemic hit us all shortly after. Therefore, things didn’t come into motion for me and Flex until April 2021 when I got the opportunity to prove myself at Centrica, then later Freshfields, and now Norton Rose Fulbright. Throughout this time, the various Flex consultants I have spoken to have gone the extra mile to ensure successful placements for me.
Where are you currently working?I am currently working as a Paralegal at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP.
What have you found interesting about your past roles through Flex?At Freshfields, I always had the feeling that my ideas were appreciated and that I made an impact during the meetings that we had. When seconded to a different department, I also got to learn about the vast networking and how that is being kept up to date.
What advice would you give to those looking to get into paralegal work?Patience is key here! Sometimes, you may also have to take a step back or sidetrack a bit. When I was in the Netherlands and the pandemic hit, I took a job at a local hospital to answer phone calls from patients seeking to book appointments for blood tests. It was not something I had studied for but it filled what would otherwise be a gap in my CV. Opportunities will present themselves when the time is right. International travel was up and running again and the Brexit transition period was running towards its end, thus I just grabbed that window of opportunity and booked a one-way ticket to Manchester. Of course, I was still able to work remotely for the hospital and could keep my income. I think that is the greatest upside of the pandemic - remote working has brought with it more possibilities. My placement at Centrica would likely not have come to fruition since I live in Manchester and Centrica is based in Windsor. Thus other than patience, you should also, no matter how bleak things might seem, look on the bright side of things!
Finally, with society getting back to normal now, what are you enjoying most about the 'new normal'?Although, I enjoyed remote working, it was great to go to the office and actually meet the people I work with. I had been in the UK since October and first got to enter an office building in July, thus it was about time. It is also fantastic to know that I can wait another week before getting a hair cut without worrying whether that week will be turned into four months.
- Jasper’s LinkedIn - you’ve heard what Jasper has to say about working through Flex, now take a look at his full professional profile over on LinkedIn.
- How Flex Legal helped Aston University fill a brand new role - perhaps Jasper’s experiences have got you wondering what interim legal resourcing could do for your team? Take a look at this recent case study, where we break down how we helped Aston University fill a brand new role.
- Apply to be a Flex Paralegal - interested in what the world of interim paralegal work could look like for you? Well look no further! Click here to learn more and perhaps even apply.