Mason Mott-Roberts shares his #HFhighlight
This week, in the latest of our series celebrating the achievements of our people in our golden jubilee year, Trainee Solicitor, Mason Mott-Roberts, shares his #HFhighlight.
When did you start working at Horwich Farrelly?
I joined Horwich Farrelly in July 2017 via their summer Vacation Scheme, a two-week placement for law graduates to get a feel for life in a fast-paced firm. I had initially applied for a place on the Easter scheme that year but, as I was still studying my LPC (Legal Practice Course) at the time, the recruitment team suggested I focused on finishing my studies and offered me a place over the summer. Throughout the process everyone I dealt with was very approachable and responsive.
Before joining the firm what was your most unusual job?
In my third year of university I worked at a pub in Cambridge called The Eagle. It’s globally famous as the place where Watson and Crick announced their discovery of DNA in 1953. Apparently they walked into the bar and told everyone they had “found the secret of life”.
The pub is also well known as it was very popular with pilots during World War Two, with many of those stationed in the area engraving their names into the wooden ceiling with a cigarette lighter.
What does a typical day look like for you at Horwich Farrelly?
I’m not an early riser so I make full use of the firm’s flexible start times going into the office for 10am. I’ll work through my emails, draw up a to do list and prioritise what I need to that day, and over the following few days. I might then be preparing for any meetings that day, taking phone calls and dealing with any urgent matters such as court orders.
As well as my caseload I try to get involved in other initiatives and activities. I’ve always thought it important to give back to the community and, having grown up with six younger sisters, jumped at the chance to sign up to a mentoring programme aimed at providing support and guidance to female pupils in Years 8 and 9 at two local high schools.
As a trained mentor under the Inspire to Aspire initiative we work with two Greater Manchester schools to identify young women who may be a bit quieter in class, or lacking confidence, who could benefit most from mentoring.
The process has been really rewarding and enjoyable. For example, in one exercise we gave each group a ‘useless product’ – such as goldfish shoes or picnic pants – and asked them to pitch them to us. It was amazing to see how people aged just 12 or 13 really came out of their shell with support and encouragement.
How has your career progressed since joining the firm?
After completing the vacation scheme in 2017 I was offered a full-time role as a junior fee earner in the firm’s Motor & Casualty department. In 2018 I went on to apply for a training contract which are only offered to existing employees, however, I was advised that I didn’t quite have enough experience at the time.
I then reapplied in January this year and was offered a contract as I was able to show how I’d developed my skills and knowledge since the first time I applied. Because I’ve several years’ experience managing a caseload the programme is reduced from the standard two years to 18 months.
I was one of the first people to take part in Horwich Farrelly’s vacation scheme, so to be offered a training contract less than 18 months later was something I was really proud of!
What has been the biggest highlight of your time at Horwich Farrelly?
Without a doubt it was being awarded a training contract earlier this year.
Whilst I’m from a single parent family and have seven siblings I’ve always been encouraged to work hard and set a good example for my brother and sisters. Going to university, completing my LPC and now being on my way to qualifying as a solicitor shows that with determination you can achieve anything. As soon as I was offered the contract the first thing I did was call my mum to share the news – she was thrilled!
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and outside interests?
I’m the oldest of eight and all my siblings’ names begin with M. I’m a huge NBA basketball fan; in fact as part of my application for a training contract I had to prepare a presentation about an outside interest. It goes without saying I picked basketball!
I’m a big chess fan and recently started a lunchtime chess club in my department. I play the guitar (badly) and would quite like to get into acting at some point in the future. Perhaps I should have a word with my colleague, Claire Fox…
What makes working at Horwich Farrelly different from other firms?
My previous experience of other law firms is limited to pro bono work I’ve done, however, I think what makes Horwich Farrelly stand out is how approachable everyone is. From my desk I can see two of three partners and all will make time to offer support and advice when needed.
What advice would you give to others starting out in their career with the firm?
Be positive, have a good attitude and be adaptable. As with any job obstacles and challenges will come up: it’s important to learn how to deal with them.