Colleague Spotlight: Nermeen Salahuddin 

March 13, 2024
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What has been your journey to your current position at Fletchers?

After studying Law at Manchester University, I began working in the legal sector in insurance. I then decided to pursue my legal practitioner’s course when I was contacted by the recruitment team at Fletchers for an interview. I had been super active on LinkedIn talking about my experiences and insights, and this was noticed by Fletchers.

It was such a comfortable interview; it was like having a chat with an old friend. I was originally interviewed for a Junior Paralegal role, however I was lucky enough to have been given a Senior Paralegal role instead!

I spent two years in this position in our Clinical Negligence practice, then the chance to apply for the Period of Recognized Training contract (PORT) came up, which I was encouraged to apply for by my team leader, who saw huge benefit and potential in me. The training contract consisted of two years of hands-on work, learning to be a solicitor whilst running a case by yourself as a solicitor would, with additional support.

I also had the opportunity to have four different seats throughout the business too, giving me experience across different practice areas. I have had the pleasure of working in Clinical Negligence, followed by EL/PL, Private Client based in our Leeds office working with Minton Morrill, and I am now in Marketing.

I have loved this opportunity and experience in both legal and non-legal teams, as it is valuable to see how both sides of the business work. This month, I am going back to my home seat for the final six months, and I will qualify as a solicitor in September 2024.

Describe a typical workday in the life of Nermeen at Fletchers?

At the moment, I am taking part in Ramadan, so my days are looking less traditional than my typical 9-5.

During Ramadan, I have been waking up to have breakfast before sunrise, so I start my working day at 11am, I have a half an hour lunch around 3pm to coincide with a prayer, and I finish work at 6pm.

My team and clients are aware of this and the people around me are very understanding.

Normally, I try to get large pieces of work done in the morning, such as drafting letters of claim or witness statements.

Whilst spending time in the marketing team, my days look very different. I have been focusing on putting together case studies with the aid of my legal knowledge and experience, so it’s very interesting working with the road traffic Accidents team, the international cases and also the group action claims.

In the lead up to Ramadan, I have also been spending time with our Blume colleagues, putting plans together for our cross-company communications throughout the month.

If you could give your younger self career advice, what would you say?

I would say go easy on yourself!

Things will work out if you believe in your capabilities.

Don’t listen to people that tell you that you don’t fit a certain mould.

Just because you don’t necessarily fit what people think a lawyer looks like, it doesn’t mean you won’t be successful.

Who would be your dream dinner party guests and why?

I would choose Ella Fitzgerald. I have been listening to her music since I was a kid, and I would love to ask her how it felt to have lived as a woman of colour in her era.

Hayley Williams would be my second choice. She was the voice of many significant moments of my childhood, and her music got me through so much.

My final choice is Greta Gerwig. She is an incredible woman and such a visionary; she really captures what it’s like to be a woman with her filmmaking. Her films really hit the nail on the head for what it’s like to have female relationships with your family and friendships. These are stories that aren’t told enough, and I would love to have her insight on breaking the barriers of traditional cinema.

I would have a dinner party to simply thank all of these women for paving the way!

If you had to compare yourself to a fictional character, who would you choose and why?

I’d be- Rebekah from the Last Great American Dynasty by Taylor Swift, because her friends and family are the most important people to her.

I also like to think I’m fun, eccentric and I see myself in her when I listen to this song.

What is something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I was born in the UK and grew up on the Wirral, I then moved to Pakistan when I was 7 years old.

My parents wanted me to get to know my family in Pakistan, and I learned so much about my culture, religion and where I’ve come from. I feel such a strong connection to my cultural heritage since living in Pakistan, and I am also fluent in Urdu! I am grateful to have had that time there.

I moved back to the UK when I was 14, where I developed an interest in theatre and participated in 17 productions helping with backstage, lighting and also performing.

I have since moved to Manchester and I love the city so much, I never want to leave!

What has been your Fletchers career highlight so far?

Other than working with inspiring clients and the amazing teams in each department, I also led the first ever Black History Month celebrations, plus spearheading the first Ramadan initiative which has now been running for four years.

I am very proud of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) work I am involved in, it’s something I’m very passionate about and I’m pleased to have made a difference.

I was also lucky enough to speak about my career in a local primary school during a careers week last year. This was a real full circle moment for me, as I remember being in school and people coming in to talk to us about their jobs and thinking that could never be me.

I think if 10-year-old me met me now, she would think I was cool.

That’s something I’m really proud of.

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