Paige McAllister

Paige is based in our Birmingham office and works as an administrative assistant (AA). She talks about her career journey and transition into the legal sector.

What has your career journey looked like so far?

I’ve had an interesting career journey, with a variety of jobs. When I was 15 I got a job working as an extra in a low budget film called ‘Soulboy’ starring Felicity Jones, Martin Compston and Alfie Allen. After this exciting work experience, I finished high school, went to sixth form and progressed onto university, where I studied English literature. I thought about teaching English abroad, however, when I finished university I decided I needed a break from studying, so I started working in Accessorize in the Birmingham Bull Ring. After going on a cruise holiday, I fell in love with the lifestyle and the travelling perks and decided I wanted to move to work in retail within the cruise industry. I secured a job working in the boutiques onboard cruise ships right up until the pandemic hit. Within 24 hours of this news, we were told we had to pack our bags and fly home. Everything was up in the air, but by chance my brother knew someone at Mills & Reeve who mentioned the firm were advertising a role for an AA. I decided to take the plunge and apply, and I’ve been with the firm ever since.

How did you find the transition into the legal sector?

I’d say it was easier than I thought it’d be. I don’t have a law background and I’d never had an office job before, so I wasn’t sure what to expect or whether I’d be capable of doing it. It was slightly daunting, however, once I started, I found it was easy to pick things up and get into a routine. It really helped that everyone’s so friendly here, the mentors were really there to help me and I felt I could always ask someone for help.

Do you have any tips for people entering the legal sector?

My main piece of advice would be to remember that you don’t know what you’re capable of unless you try. As clichĂ© as it may sound, I always say life is a journey and you’ve got to try these things to see if you enjoy them, if you’re passionate about them, and if you’re any good at them. At the end of the day, what have you got to lose?  

What are your favourite things about working at Mills & Reeve?

I would say the people. Everyone is so friendly, patient and encouraging, and that was really evident when I first started. Considering I joined with no law or office work experience, I didn’t know what to expect. I also feel the firm really cares about their employees, especially regarding their health and mental wellbeing. It’s so nice to know that if I was struggling, I could go to my line manager and speak to her and that there’s always people to contact and approach if I need that help. I also really like the support Mills & Reeve gives its employees when they want to progress within the firm, they really do help you succeed in your role.

What’s it like being an AA?

I really like that I never know what my day is going to look like in terms of workload. Even though my main jobs are scanning, printing and organizing paperwork, it’s different every day. The pace can change from one day to the next. I might come in one morning and I have lots of people asking for jobs to be completed and other days it might be much calmer. I enjoy the fact that I support the whole real estate team; from lawyers to executive assistants as well as supporting the other AAs across other teams. 

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