Intermediate series 2
El día laboral
- El horario de Lis
- Trabajo en derechos humanos
- Las dificultades de trabajar en otro lenguaje
Passing the Summer
Well, my role is called Team Co-ordinator. I work with a team of lawyers in the human rights department in a legal firm here in London. But this team has some very specific areas, because human rights involves, or implies many situations, and well, there are many things which are related with human rights
Yes, I like it, above all because of the closeness that I can have with the legal system of England. So, to have the opportunity to compare the system, to learn the rhythm of work of a firm of lawyers here in London, especially. From that point of view, of having that experience, I feel very, very proud of having been able to get to this firm, where I had always wanted to be
But, yes, I wanted to be in this firm, and I even had various interviews, and after a few, I finally got the position. Something which is perhaps a little difficult is that I can’t practise as a lawyer, because my qualification in Colombia is different, and that’s the problem with lawyers
That’s it… With the law. Sorry, the law, because it’s feminine, it’s one of those subjects that you can only apply in the country where you study it
Yes, pretty much, yes
It’s a very localised job.
Yes. It’s very attached to the countries, and well, I took a risk, and I’m continuing in the legal industry, and from a very nice area, and one from which I have learned a lot.
Put us in your place
Because he that rises early…
…God helps. However, I feel that I can get up very early, but I feel that… That I don’t get much done in the time, that I don’t do the things that I wanted to do because I get distracted with something else. I’m an expert in making timetables, so I love…
Do that for us
Ok, well… The ideal things is to get up around 6 in the morning, and do 10 minutes of exercise, of stretching, and to be ready at 7 in the morning in order to study it little about laws here. I would like to get to qualify as her in England but it’s very uncertain because… At the moment I don’t know how much time we’re going to stay here, but anyway, I know that it’s important, and that it’s good to have it, and also like a goal. But it’s in my timetable, to study from 7 to 8. At 8 I leave the house to get to the office at 9.
You take the train
I take the train, yes
A little bit…
Rush hour, yes. Rush hour. But, it’s not bad, to be honest, I take… I can take maximum forty minute to get to my office, and…
Exactly. And, for being in the outskirts of London it’s very good. So, my timetabled arrival is at 9.30, but I get in at 9 generally.
No, that’s the reality, yes. I try to arrive at nine in order to prepare for the day. What happens? Well. In the office I get in at 9, and I finish more or less at 6, 6.30. There’s always a lot of work, more so because it’s a firm that works with human rights, our clients… There are a lot of clients and few resources. So one has to work a lot, always.
Yes, and I’ve felt now the level of work of London is very intense. I can understand now why they don’t have time to go out to have lunch, but anyway, that’s like… That’s my work day in the office. During that work day, which has been a little difficult for me, and I don’t know if it’s a taboo or reality, but I feel that I take longer than other people. So, perhaps, because it’s in a second language, I feel that everything takes me longer, and so I’m more cautious and I have to check everything twice, as though it were…
That’s what I was going to ask you. Well, how is it to work in a language that isn’t yours? And also, in an industry where one has to be very exact with the words and the language.
Yes it’s true. At the start, a little nervous about that, because I know how important it can be to take the wrong information, or not to take it, and in extremely serious cases. So that puts me under a bit of pressure, but at the same time I’ve started relaxing, and thing, I do the most I can, and I’ve had difficult moments in which I’m unsure of what I’m understanding. So, it’s like a sensation of, how I would like that this were in Spain, but…
No, almost… Well, there is a client… One client, but no, generally everything is in English, everything’s in English and well, the thing about writing, obviously the speed – there are words which are completely new, there are words which are associated with institutions from here, that someone who isn’t a lawyer, but that’s lived in England knows…
When I think about it, that is… There’s English, which is already difficult. But also there’s like the vocabulary of the law, and also… I think that every company almost has its own language, it has its own slang, it’s acronyms
Acronyms, and all that
And it’s very difficult
Yes it’s difficult, but what I’ve tried to do is to be patient, patient with myself, and also very honest, right? I have the luck that people I work with understand my position, and understand, perhaps, how difficult it can be to work in the… In that environment, and in a second language. So, I feel very fortunate because of that, because they understand, and if I have doubts I can ask, and so on that side it’s very good. One needs that support that if you get it wrong they’re going to understand
No, no, no. But they are… Equally, when I started I said to them that maybe it was my fear, the whole thing about writing, and I asked myself if it was about the language barrier, and I, no, I don’t think that it’s a language barrier. But, yes, the vocabulary and the speed to aquire it, and I gave the example, for me to be a Colombian lawyer implied 5 years, 6 years of studying to pick up that legalese, to be able to write, and there was time, a lot of time studying in order to achieve that faculty. Now I’m in that process of doing it, trying to do it in English, which I like a lot, but it takes time
Ok, there are a lot of administrative tasks. Things around organising lots of clients’ documents, I have a lot. To be on top of emails, as much as the clients, as well as new clients. To organise documents, organise files, to make some drafts, obviously drafts in certain documents, to update the cases, to follow up, sometimes I do translations. Well, in general, like that
A little of everything
Of everything. I look after dates, I schedule trials, the lawyers also work a lot with deadlines, so they take a lot of care for when terms finish in order to make legal actions. It sounds very, very legal, but yes, more or less there are a lot of things. All the days are different.
And normally, what time do you finish?
Well, it’s good then.
Yes, sometimes I stay to read a little, or to try to go depper, because there are so many administrative tasks, sometimes there isn’t the opportunity to analyse the cases a little. So, it’s a shame, being there, not being able to study and to read a little more about what’s happening, because of spending sometimes a lot of time on administrative tasks, which are necessary and have to be done
Let’s see, what?
Ok. You wake up very early, too early, and so you wake me up at like 5.30, for example. You have a shower, and what do you do? You come back to bed.
And afterwards, I get up, I make the breakfast, well, anyway. There’s a book, I think it’s called Miracle morning, something like that, in Spanish it would be “Miracle Morning”, that’s a book that I hate. The idea of that book is that the morning is like the most important time of the day. You have to start each day with a lot of energy and everything, and the author has some…
Some routines in the morning, like… And whenever you go on LinkedIn, people always put their articles of their morning routine, like I get up at half past 5, I do half an hour of exercise, afterwards I shower with cold water, and I have a juice of spinach and lemon
And carrots, and after half an hour of meditation, and I practise gratitude and all that. No. Nobody does that. What they do is they get up five minutes before they have to go, they shower and take a piece of toast on the road, and that’s it, they shoot off. You’re the same. No, not really…
I do get up early, but I don’t manage to do what I set myself to do. So I find things in the house and I start to organise, or to make lunch, and well…
Thanks to you.