Taking the right steps to success

A senior solicitor from Stronachs LLP has been named one of the top two Scottish candidates in a recent specialist exam set by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.

Kirsten Anderson achieved the joint-highest score in the Trusts (Law and Practice) exam, and is now one assessment away from achieving full STEP accreditation.

Kirsten, a member of Stronachs’ private client team, said that studying for the qualification had provided an excellent opportunity to expand her knowledge and experience.

Kirsten Anderson

“I decided to undertake the STEP course to gain a really comprehensive grounding in everything relating to private client work. It covers all kinds of work in trust and estate planning in depth, which is a vital aspect of private client practice.

“There is a lot of study involved for every paper and it is a rigorous process, but it equips you to deal with pretty much everything that you’re likely to come across in this area of the law.”

Since beginning studying for the qualification in January 2015, Kirsten has passed the Wills and Executries, and Trusts exams with distinction and has recently been informed that she has gained a distinction in the Taxation of Trusts and Estates paper, which she sat in May. The final paper is on Trust and Executry Accounting and Kirsten hopes to be fully STEP-qualified by the end of this year.

She added: “I was very pleased to discover I had scored joint highest in the Trusts paper, which covers all aspects of trust law. I felt it was a very challenging exam so I am very happy with the result.”

Kirsten joined Stronachs in 2011, as part of the firm’s traineeship programme after completing her undergraduate LLB and Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Aberdeen.

Now almost three years qualified, she was recently promoted to senior solicitor, in recognition of her progression at the firm.

She said: “My traineeship with Stronachs was very well rounded, I spent six months working in four different teams; energy, corporate, dispute resolution and private client. After completing my traineeship, I was really pleased to secure a position in the private client team.

“Stronachs is an excellent firm to work for, I’ve been given every opportunity to develop and look forward to taking this next step in my career progression.”

Kirsten’s top tips to making a career in the legal profession:

Be prepared to work hard – “Studying law is hard work and a career in the sector requires a lot of time and effort, but it is also very rewarding and a fascinating field to work in.”

Be open minded – “A law degree is very well recognised and it covers a lot of different things so you’ll find that you develop a lot of transferable skills. You may even end up practising in an area that you hadn’t initially considered.”

Get experience – “Getting first-hand experience working at a law firm is really useful, but it’s also good to have other interests, extracurricular activities or voluntary work. This demonstrates you have interests outwith the legal sector and are a well-rounded person.”

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