I am a future trainee at Herbert Smith Freehills, due to start training with the firm in September 2019.
For reasons that are unknown, I was born with an upper limb deficiency; my left arm stops just below my elbow. When I was in primary school I was encouraged to use a prosthetic arm. However, I soon got bored of carrying it around (they were really heavy back then!)
This means that growing up I was constantly developing one-handed techniques to complete tasks designed for two-handed people. Often, without any guidance. Learning to tie my shoelaces was particularly tricky, as even my parents couldn’t tie them one-handed.
While as a child it could be frustrating, as an adult I like to think it has made me very good at coming up with creative solutions to difficult problems. I am also well-practised at visualising the stages of a solution, and assessing whether it’s going to work or not. (Because you want to know whether you can carry the tray of drinks through that closed door before you try it in front of everyone!)
Naturally, problem solving and thinking logically and methodically are important to being a good solicitor. Therefore, I was eager to talk about my experience of having only one hand in my application form and at interview.
I think that growing up with a disability causes you to develop a unique skill set, and this is definitely something to be proud of.