The first Flex Trainee to qualify: Jennifer Talabi
When we first launched the pilot for the Flex Trainee scheme back in 2021, we were amazed by the sheer calibre of aspiring solicitors that wanted to get involved. One such individual was Jennifer Talabi, who is officially the scheme’s first graduate! Now that she has been formally admitted to the SRA’s Solicitor’s Register, we took a much overdue opportunity to speak with Jennifer about her qualification journey.
Hi Jennifer, how does it feel to have qualified as a solicitor?“It feels amazing to have finally achieved my goal of qualifying. It feels surreal and I’m truly thankful to God! I’m super happy to have achieved such a milestone, it’s made my family proud, and I am excited to try and help others to do the same.”
How have your family and friends reacted to you qualifying?“My family and friends are extremely proud of my achievement, I feel like it was definitely a team effort, given that they have supported me throughout my journey, especially my mother. I’ve received many kind words and congratulatory presents. It has truly been a momentous period of joy and happiness since.”
Even during the formative launch of Flex Trainee, Jennifer held a unique position amongst the first cohort of Flex Trainees. As she had already completed her LPC, the SRA required her to effectively re-begin her legal training in under to qualify under the SQE.
You qualified partly via the LPC and partly via the SQE. What was that like?“Honestly, it wasn’t easy. I completed the LPC on the part time course of 2 years during 2016-2018, working, whilst studying. It took a lot of commitment and determination to push through and finally receive certification. Initially, when I had to enrol on the SQE course I wasn’t pleased, however it did provide me with resilience and a refresher of the Law, which in turn has helped my knowledge and confidence in the profession.”
How did you find the overall Flex Trainee experience?“Given that I was part of the pilot scheme, the programme has definitely evolved and grown tremendously since I started. The scheme provided an opportunity to liaise with other trainees about our experiences, a safe space to get advice and the trainee cohort provided a sense of solitude amongst my peers. The programme provided great exposure to household names and an experience to truly understand what it means to become an in-house lawyer.
Additionally, through the programme, I was allocated an external Mentor, who acted as a soundboard, gave me advice, helped me develop further in house legal skills to equip with the necessary tools ahead of qualification.”
Under the Flex Trainee scheme, each Flex Trainee is seconded to our clients whilst they accrue two years worth of Qualifying Work Experience (QWE). This is due to the SRA’s qualification specifications for the SQE requiring all candidates to be exposed to at least two years worth of legal work. As part of Jennifer’s Flex Trainee experience, she spent her first year working with Better.co.uk (at the time they were Trussle, but have since rebranded), and her second year with Kantar.
During her time with Better.co.uk, Jennifer was promoted and was entrusted with sole responsibility for the organisation’s legal matters. Her legal aptitude never waned, and she flourished in the role - developing close work relationships with the CEO, board members, and heads of departments.
“I would like to become a Commercial Law specialist and in the future break into the Tech industry. Watch this space!”
Newly Qualified Solicitor
Do you have any advice to anyone looking to get involved with the Flex Trainee scheme?“The main piece of advice I would give, would be to remain determined and persevere through the legal journey, as it requires a lot of learning and sometimes getting things wrong, but it’ll be worth it in the end when you qualify and get your certificate.”
Now that you’ve qualified, what is next for you?“My plan is to find a great work home, where I can further develop and improve my legal skills and knowledge. I would like to become a Commercial Law specialist and in the future break into the Tech industry. Watch this space!”
It goes without saying, but Jennifer passing both the LPC and the SQE examinations, as well as undertaking sole responsibility for her organisation’s legal matters as a trainee, demonstrates her remarkable legal competence and enormous resilience. She entirely deserves to be the first Flex Trainee to qualify and we couldn’t be prouder of her!
- Jennifer’s LinkedIn - Given that you’ve read all about her journey to solicitor qualification, why not scope out the rest of her experience via her full LinkedIn profile?
- Apply to be a Flex Trainee - Are you an aspiring lawyer from an under-represented background? You might be a great candidate for the Flex Trainee scheme! Learn more on our Recruitee page.
- Hire a Flex Trainee - If your legal team could benefit from involvement in the Flex Trainee scheme, then arrange a call with our team today to learn more.