January '21 Paralegal of the Month: Marciano Santos Tigna
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that Marciano Santos Tigna has been crowned our Paralegal of the Month for January 2021! Marciano has been a real asset to Flex since he was first onboarded in April 2020, and has performed fantastically on his two placements with Freshfields LLP and Allen and Overy since then. We’re delighted to have played a small part in Marciano’s success, and managed to catch up with him to discuss his journey so far!
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and tell us a bit about your background?My name is Marciano Santos Tigna, and I am an African born in Guinea-Bissau. Due to a political civil war that occurred in 1998, I was forced to move with my mother and younger sister to Portugal at the age of 3, in exile. At the age of 18, I had the opportunity to play football in a College in Scunthorpe, and after doing so for a year, I decided to embark on my legal studies in England. I graduated in 2019 with a Bachelors in Law, and again in 2020 with a Masters in International Dispute Resolution.
Could you tell us about your experience working through Flex Legal?Working through Flex Legal has been very important for my career development in the legal sector. I registered in April 2020, and was placed on two complex and high-profile projects with Magic Circle firms by the end of the year. The Flex Legal team have provided me with impeccable professional guidance and support, which allowed me to assist the firms I was placed with to the best of my ability. I often receive notifications of new placements that are available, which gives me the flexibility to choose the opportunities that match my interests and experience.
What was your most recent placement through Flex?My most recent role was at Allen & Overy, where I assisted in the disclosure exercise of a contentious Arbitration case, under the LCIA Rules. My main responsibility was to review all Portuguese correspondences, audio clips and transcripts received from the client, under the supervision of the firm. The role was very demanding because I had to remain consistently focused and ready to take on new tasks at any time. My day-to-day generally consisted of starting at 9am by logging into the firm’s portal, checking my mail inbox, and planning my tasks accordingly. Moreover, I had to be able to juggle multiple tasks once, and be able to prioritise the most important tasks. For example, this could be reviewing a document which had just been received from the client and needed an immediate response, without forgetting about my other tasks planned for the day. As a result of my busy schedule, I was able to greatly improve my organisation, time management and communication skills.
Was there anything you found particularly interesting about your placement at Allen & Overy?There were two main interesting aspects to the role. The first was being able to provide extensive and concise assistance to the team, by having the entire responsibility of reviewing all documents in Portuguese (which is my primary language). The second was being able to see some of the key fixtures of the area of law I studied for my Master’s degree, in real life, and learn from some of the best practitioners in the field. This was very important to me, as I was completing my last exams for my Masters at the same time. I was able to not only gain extra motivation, but also apply my knowledge of the area I was working on in my assignments in a professional context.
Conversely, was there anything you found challenging about the role?I did not encounter any major challenges during the placement. However, if I had to mention one, it would be the fact that due to the pandemic I worked remotely and not in the office as I would have preferred. I did not have the chance to meet the team in person, and further evolve my interpersonal and team-work skills. This being said, working remotely did help my understanding of how firms across the world are adapting to developments in the tech. The benefits of recent innovative technologies will certainly shape the way the legal sector works and provide services to clients.
What advice would you offer to anyone thinking of applying to Flex Legal?My advice to those who are looking to apply to Flex Legal is to be a very professional, reliable, genuine, and most importantly, persevering individual. This is a great opportunity to have your feet on the door and showcase your skills and capabilities to leading firms, as well as organisations who are looking for the best candidates to assist them with the work they do, and in return, provide you with unique experiences that will certainly help you grow within the legal sector. Therefore, if successful, my advise is to fully engage with the team, as there is always someone who is available to assist the candidates in reaching their best potential.
Finally, do you have any top tips for coping with lockdown life?Lastly, my top tips for coping with lockdown life (in particular to all those who might be struggling mentally) would be to remember that after the rain the sun always comes shining sooner or later. Hence, do not give up on your dreams and goals. Instead, find time to learn more about your true self and your purpose in life through meditation and self-reflection.
- Marciano’s LinkedIn profile - You’ve read what the man himself has to say about life and work, now take a look at his full career history!
- Paralegal of the Month YouTube playlist - See videos of our previous POTM winners discussing their work and placements through Flex.
- Hire a Flex Paralegal - Want to upscale your legal team, and provide opportunities to talented paralegals? Our platform is home to thousands of talented and capable paralegals. Hire one today!