July '21 Paralegal of the Month: Rudolph Benade
Hey Rudolph! Tell us a bit about yourself please?Hi! My name is Rudolph Benade, and I am currently working through as a paralegal through Flex Legal at Dentons in London. I am originally South African but have lived in Northern Ireland, where I went to school, as well as the United Arab Emirates, where my family have been for the last 6 years. I studied Law at the University of Reading before completing my LPC at BPP University, London Holborn. After the LPC, I spent a year working as a paralegal in various capacities before managing to secure a Training Contract with Baker McKenzie.
How did you first become interested in working in law?My first experiences of working in a legal setting were during summer internships while at university. As my family were based in the UAE, I was able to undertake these at the Dubai offices of Clyde & Co and Dentons, and also spent some time working in-house at Abbot Pharmaceuticals. The biggest benefit for me was being able to speak to the paralegals, trainees and associates I was working with in order to get a real understanding of what a career in law would look like and how I would get there. This also gave me invaluable information to use during future interviews as well as an idea of the type of law firm I wanted to apply to.
Could you tell us about your experience working through Flex Legal?Flex Legal came highly recommended by a friend and I would have to say I completely agree. Coming out of the other end of the LPC without a Training Contract was quite daunting, but Flex were incredibly welcoming and supportive during my sign on period and I was settled into a role very shortly afterwards. Since then, Flex Legal have worked with me to ensure I am getting the best shot at the roles most suited to me and my development requirements. What I appreciate most of all is the variety of opportunities that Flex Legal have presented to me, and how quick and easy the turnarounds between roles usually are.
Where are you currently working?I am currently working within Dentons as part of their paralegal Legal Delivery Centre. I could not speak any higher of the role, which has allowed me to work on a variety of tasks and matters rather than focussing on one particular practice group. There is an ever changing (and often increasing) need for extra hands, and I would encourage anyone presented with the opportunity to join the team to do so. As I am working in a large group of paralegals, most of which are in the same stage of their legal career, it has also been incredibly social and enjoyable despite the difficulties presented by WFH.
What have you found interesting about your most recent role?While I have been fortunate enough to work on a variety of different matters, what I have found most interesting has been the impact of COVID-19 and the firm’s response. These have ranged from the ease of attending a virtual hearing to the difficult and lengthy procedure involved in going into the office when absolutely necessary. I found the number of wellbeing and social initiatives very promising and was struck by how inclusive and welcoming the team is for new joiners. The work put in by supervisors at various levels to ensure that its junior members are still getting the same quality of development, whether this be the firm’s trainees or its junior paralegals, has also been fantastic.
What advice would you give to those looking to get into paralegal work?My first piece of advice is to not be put off by rejections. It is an incredibly competitive career, but perseverance really does pay dividends. My second piece of advice would be to get involved in as much as possible and to really work on developing relationships with those you work with. While this should also make any role more enjoyable, it is never too early to start building your network of connections and developing your skillset. By involving yourself in as much as possible you are also increasing the experiences you can fall back on during future interviews and maximising your ability to make an immediate impact when starting your Training Contract.
Finally, with society now steadily reopening, what are you most excited about getting back?I am most excited by the prospect of live sports – I recently attended the European Champions Cup Final at Twickenham which just confirmed how much I have missed live sporting events!
- Rudolph’s LinkedIn - you’ve read his answers to our POTM questions, so why not take a look at Rudolph’s full professional profile over on LinkedIn? Warning: it’s just as impressive as you’d expect!
- Apply to be a Flex Paralegal - if you like the sound of Rudolph’s interim paralegal work, and maybe want to get involved yourself, then consider applying to be a Flex paralegal! We’re currently onboarding new paralegals, and would love to hear from you!
- Hire a Flex Paralegal - do you need a Rudolph on your legal team? You’re in the right place! Our platform is home to thousands of talented paralegals ready to make your legal life easier.