Mandy Adogla-PopovicBack to Blog

My decision to ultimately pursue law stemmed from the desire to build on the analytical and communication skills that came most naturally to me at school and the ability to perform well under pressure. I didn't have any family or friends in the legal profession, so it wasn’t a clear-cut route for me. But during my mother’s jury service tenure, she took my CV door-to-door in the area near the courts to find a barrister that would give me a work experience placement. A female barrister eventually allowed me to shadow her. Thanks to this amazing intervention from my incredible mother, I had this experience which became the catalyst for my passion for the legal profession.

Throughout it all, my mother is still my biggest cheerleader and the person that has made me feel like a superhero my entire life. She is a constant source of affirmation that proved invaluable in the face of doubts. I remember, in the sixth form, despite my natural propensity for legal work, I received a piece of unfortunate advice from my Head of Year of Sixth Form. As with many Black girls, the advice was essential to ‘set my sights lower when considering university options. This was a clear underestimation of my academic abilities and a sentiment with no real basis. She recanted it upon seeing my AS-level results that were so significant they were reported on by local newspapers. It was a shame to have received her very limiting advice but I am glad that I didn't listen to her. It was an important early lesson on how to filter external advice. Nobody knows what you are capable of more than you!

"Success" when I think about it looks different for everyone so my advice for anyone entering the industry is to stay focused on what makes you tick and thrive! Equally especially as a woman and a black woman, be mindful not to get caught up in everybody else's expectations of you and to remember that you are running your own race. My industry has a long way to go and I don't expect it to be a quick fix or an easy journey, but I see real conversations begin to happen, particularly at Jupiter, with the aim of bringing about true progression.