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  • 9 Mar 2023

    Rising up through the ranks | Admin assistant to Partner

    To highlight National Careers Week, we are sharing our team's inspiring journeys into law

    Sarah Bent


    I studied my law degree at Lincoln Uni and went on to do my Legal Practice Course (LPC) at Nottingham Law School. 

    Following the completion of my LPC, I was looking for a job in a law firm with a view to getting a training contract, these were few and far between and I had already been rejected by Hegarty’s when I applied during my second year at Uni. 

    I was fortunate to come across a job advert for an administration assistant at Hegarty’s and thought that this is a foot in the door, and any experience in an office environment, let alone a law firm is a good start. 

    I started my job as administration assistant in December 2010 after finishing my LPC the same year and really enjoyed myself.  I was in a position where I got to know everyone in the company, including the Partners, who were so approachable, even to a 22 year old just out of Uni with no experience.  After lots of subtle hints and discussions with the Partners while opening the post in the mornings, 6 months into my job as an administration assistant, our training Partner decided to ‘interview’ me with a view to a training contract starting in September 2012. 

    After working in administration at Hegarty Solicitors for 1 year and 9 months I finally started my training contract in our Stamford office.  I completed my seat in the Family department and moved back to the Peterborough office where I finished my training in 2014.  I was fortunate that towards the end of my training contract our Residential Property department were looking for someone to cover maternity leave, and I was more than happy to stay at the firm that had been home to me by that point for nearly 5 years. 

    The firm took me on as a newly qualified solicitor and then kept me on after the maternity cover finished.  I progressed and worked hard throughout my time in the Residential Property department, and then in March 2019 I was promoted to Head of Department.  I suddenly became responsible for the whole department over 3 offices, one of the biggest and busiest departments in the firm.  The Partners then promoted me to Associate Solicitor in May 2019.  I had big shoes to fill having to now manage the department following Richard Hegarty’s retirement in April 2019. 

    An unprecedented few years followed where we had lockdowns, remote working and a lot of uncertainty.  The Residential Property market was so busy we struggled to keep up with the volume of work we had coming in, but as a department we thrived.  After managing the department for 3 years the Partners then decided it was time for me to join them and I was promoted to Partner in May 2022 (while I was on maternity leave myself).  I am 1 of 4 female Partners at Hegarty’s and currently the youngest!

    I am a true believer of working your way up. It not only sets you in a position to have a greater level of understanding of the whole business but also helps to develop an appreciation for support staff and the work they do to support the team around them. 

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