‘I completed my training contract remotely while pregnant’

Skylar McKeith displays on an ‘eventful’ previous yr and a half

Picture by way of Unsplash

I’m a advisor solicitor specialising in immigration legislation within the London workplace of a global legislation agency.

Rising up inside a household of combined heritage is initially what compelled me to decide on the immigration elective on the Authorized Apply Course and I subsequently developed a love for this space of legislation. I come from an American-British household with Ukranian and Russian ancestry so the subject of immigration has all the time been an curiosity of mine.

However the previous yr and a half has actually been eventful in many alternative methods. 2020 was the yr of lockdowns, the yr I gave delivery to my first baby and the yr I certified as a solicitor.

It was very early on in my being pregnant when the lockdown was first applied and never many individuals knew I used to be anticipating. Once I first came upon I used to be pregnant earlier than the pandemic I had so many plans for the way I needed my journey into motherhood to go. I had envisioned taking being pregnant yoga lessons and attending to know different mums-to-be. Nevertheless, my being pregnant panned out in probably the most sudden approach potential.

I spent most of it in lockdown with the distant help of the agency. Most individuals in each my skilled and private life didn’t ever see me pregnant. My ultimate seat happened from my lounge while my Skilled Abilities Course was transferred on-line, which means I completed the ultimate phases of my training, like many different trainees, locked down in my residence.

My division tailored properly to residence working. We continued to have group conferences however they happened on Zoom relatively than in-person. My supervisor was fantastic and saved in common contact with me all through the day. I had already began my ultimate seat shortly earlier than lockdown, so the day-to-day work was not new to me by the point the lockdown arrived. The expertise might have offered sure challenges, resembling lacking the social facet, however total I discovered the change to distant working to be seamless.

I’m grateful that my agency was accommodating throughout lockdown and my being pregnant. Any paperwork I wanted had been scanned and emailed to me. My agency additionally had common weekly social evenings on Zoom the place we might all communicate with one another, which undoubtedly helped get via the anti-social isolation of lockdown.

I gave delivery shortly after the primary lockdown ended and never lengthy earlier than the start of the second. Being pregnant throughout a lockdown is certainly a wierd and isolating expertise (however unbelievable on the identical time). I needed to attend all of my antenatal appointments alone, in addition to expertise the early phases of labour and the post-birth stage alone with my child.

I took my maternity go away earlier than returning to work and qualifying as a solicitor. My return to work happened in the course of the second lockdown so I completed the ultimate month of my training contract from residence. I used to be delighted to lastly qualify as a solicitor after a few years of laborious work.

I now work as a advisor immigration solicitor for a similar agency I skilled with and completely love my job. The Immigration Guidelines may be pretty advanced for the common applicant and I’m conscious it may be difficult to search out trusted and diligent legal professionals. To me immigration legislation may be in comparison with a puzzle and I get pleasure from putting the items collectively.

Consultancy gives me better flexibility to stability work with motherhood. I set my personal hours which allows me to be a hands-on mom to my child. It’s the good ‘work-life’ stability.

Skylar McKeith is a solicitor specialising in immigration lawyer.

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