In our new ‘Spotlight’ series, we shed light on some of our amazing team members, and this month we are chatting with Lauren O’Sullivan, one of our commercial property lawyers. She tells us about her role at Ignition, how she got into law and what her morning routine is.
What is your role at Ignition Law?
Senior Consultant specialising in commercial property. In particular I focus on helping our clients to anticipate, avoid and mitigate disputes regarding property that they occupy or have an interest in. I pride myself on taking a commercial approach to help clients reach viable and pragmatic solutions. I am also the Mental Health First Aid Officer which I share more about below.
What is your favourite part of the working day?
I love mornings (both on working and non working days)! There’s something about the energy of it for me – I enjoy the possibility and opportunity that a whole new day brings. I am most productive in the mornings and I have never been a night owl or one who thrives working late.
What piece of professional work have you been most proud of and why?
It’s hard to choose one piece of work but I’m proud of the work that myself and the team did during the last two years supporting tenants who were unable to use their premises and were financially hit during the pandemic period. It was a difficult time for many businesses and it was challenging to provide tangible support given the limitations of the legal frameworks in place, but we were able to facilitate many helpful commercial outcomes for our clients. The landscape continues to evolve for commercial tenants – see our latest blog post HERE.
There are several ways to train to become a lawyer now. What route did you take and who did you work with?
I took the traditional route by studying law at University, the LPC at law school and undertaking a two year training contract with a large commercial firm; Pinsent Masons. It felt very competitive at the time to secure the training contract and funding through law school, but I was so determined to qualify as a lawyer. I was particularly proud of myself for this achievement, having come from the humble beginnings of a northern steel town and without any mentors around me who had taken a professional career path. Things have really changed and opened up since I was applying for training contracts for the better and it gives me hope that law is increasingly becoming more accessible to a variety of backgrounds, learning styles and lifestyle choices. Whilst I took the traditional route, I’d encourage any budding lawyers to consider all of the options now available and to seek to understand what works best for them.
Things have really changed and opened up since I was applying for training contracts for the better and it gives me hope that law is increasingly becoming more accessible to a variety of backgrounds, learning styles and lifestyle choices
Are there other aspects of your role with us that you’re proud of?
Yes! My role as Mental Health First Aid Officer is something I’m really proud of on a personal note, but also as a milestone for law in general. Only a few years ago, mental health was a taboo topic particularly within the professional landscape, but we have progressed a long way from that. Open conversations are being had about mental health with an understanding that we are all human and challenges are inevitable in life. I think it’s amazing how Ignition Law have been so open to this and it’s just one example of how forward thinking and sincerely supportive they are. When I made the proposal about creating this role, Ignition were so encouraging and excited to facilitate the creation of this role. I have always been passionate about the ‘human’ and wellbeing side of things (e.g. taking up opportunities to mentor and, aside from law, training as a life coach and a yoga teacher) so being the firm’s Mental Health First Aid Officer is an ideal way of injecting one of my passions outside of law into Ignition.
It goes without saying that Ignition is doing law ‘differently’ in many ways and, as a result, its human centred approach means that the usual pressures that often come with more traditional style firms are diluted, but it’s nonetheless important to offer mental health support for any work and non-work related pressures; we are all human and life can be challenging to navigate sometimes.
Lots of the team are part of other projects outside of IL, are you and if so, tell us a little about them
I am the creator & host the Legally Different podcast where I interview current/former legal professionals who are doing things differently in pursuit of their purpose, passions and wellbeing. It is designed to be a hub of inspiring and real stories to help people navigate and create the kind of success that feels good on the inside, not just looks good on the outside. I love how each guest is questioning the status quo in their own way in the legal world, by creating authentic success on their terms.
Also, as I’ve already suggested on the ‘human’ side of things, I am passionate about human potential and optimization, I recently studied the Human Design system which is a fusion of some esoteric/spiritual systems (which I love and am so interested in) such as astrology, the chakra system and the chinese iching with quantum physics and genetics. Human Design creates an energetic and genetic blueprint of who we are; our purpose, gifts, strengths and how we engage with others, our design to work and to make decisions. It’s a really empowering and useful tool and it’s great to see the uptake of it, especially in the legal world. I now use this to coach and guide lawyers in 1-1 sessions.
Looking after your physical and mental health is so important. How do you do this?
A variety of tools which I change up depending on what I feel called to tap into or need. Mornings are precious to me so, no matter what, I ensure that have a grounded and peaceful morning practice. On occasions where my time is stretched, that might just mean 5 mins of meditation or a 2 min barefoot walk in the garden (I love ‘earthing’ at the moment) whilst taking deep breaths. Where time is less pressured, my ideal morning routine is a cold shower followed by 20 mins of breathwork and meditation and a homemade smoothie bowl. The rest of the day is pic n mix depending on what is going on! I love getting out for a walk or run where possible.
If you could sum up working at IL in three words, what would they be?
Refreshing, empowering and enjoyable!