Law career chase brings ambitious grad to Girvan

TAKING THE LAW INTO HER OWN HANDS: Lyndsey stopped by Girvan's Smith and Valentine solicitors on her Tweet by Feet traineeship road-trip.
TAKING THE LAW INTO HER OWN HANDS: Lyndsey stopped by Girvan's Smith and Valentine solicitors on her Tweet by Feet traineeship road-trip.

GIRVAN has featured on a graduate job hunt that is taking social media by storm as the Carrick town welcomes a Twitter phenomenon.

Lyndsey Jefferson, 28, from Glasgow paid her first visit to Girvan in four years last week as part of her Traineeship Road-trip in search of a law career.

The graduate used to visit the Carrick town for childhood holidays, when her grandparents owned a caravan by the coast. But last week Lyndsey’s intentions were purely professional as she made the journey south in search of a job.

Since the economic downturn hit, law firms have struggled to provide training places for the increasing numbers of law graduates ready to begin their careers, and last year there were more the double the number of graduates than there were traineeships available.

But rather than join the masses of contemporaries yet to find their footing on the corporate ladder, Lyndsey instead began her ‘Tweet by Feet’ campaign – a quest by car to bag herself a law traineeship.

By the end of her seven-day expedition she will have visited law firms in towns and cities including Inverness, Wick, Aberdeen, Dundee, Stirling, and Stranraer and completed around 1500 miles by the end of this week.

When she stopped by the Carrick Gazette office on Thursday afternoon Lyndsey had already been to appointments in Kilmarnock, Ayr and Girvan, and was on route to Newton Stewart and Wigtown before returning to Glasgow for day five’s leg of her journey on Friday.

And while she admits her project may be a little unusual, having began life as just a “stupid idea” that she committed to Twitter, Lyndsey said extreme proactivity is now a necessity in such a competitive job market.

“You have to market yourself now as a graduate; you don’t have a choice,” she said. “People are inundated with trainees, and that personal touch might be what gives a firm the incentive to at least meet with me.

“They might love or loathe what I am trying to do, but the worst case scenario is it is a networking exercise, which is no bad thing given how close the legal community is. And the best case scenario is a job!”

Lyndsey said her ambitious project has also attracted unprecedented attention to her skills and determination.

”I didn’t anticipate this level of encouragement,” she said. “I know that lawyers have hellish schedules, yet they’re opening their doors and putting the kettle on for me. And my Twitter following has significantly increased of late!”

Stewart Sheddon, a partner at Dalrymple Street’s Smith and Valentine practice for 36 years and a council member of the Law Society of Scotland, said Lyndsey’s trip showed “fantastic initiative”.

“It demonstrates how extremely difficult it is for young would-be lawyers to get traineeship places,” he said.

“Lyndsey is obviously an extremely able and innovative young woman who I have no doubt would make a very able lawyer.

“She has certainly done everything possible to put herself in the window of the marketplace and it will be very interesting to see whether she manages to secure herself a traineeship at the end of it.”