Gemma McDonald of Blackstone Solicitors in Hale is a role model for primary school children
Gemma McDonald of Blackstone Solicitors in Hale visited Elmridge Primary School in Hale Barns recently to talk to the Year 5 and 6 pupils about her role as a paralegal and her plans to qualify as a solicitor. Gemma’s visit was part of the Aspirations Programme that the children have been working on with local careers education provider, We Aspire.
Gemma explained to the children what legal work entails with great examples that related to their experience. Presenting the idea that solicitors need to be persuasive, Gemma engaged the children in a lively discussion about how they would persuade their teacher to allow them to have ten minutes extra playtime!
Gemma told the children that she had decided that she wanted to be a solicitor whist at college and that the first step had been to study for a law degree at University. She emphasised the importance of hard work explaining that,
‘Even though I've done three years of studying at university I still have lots of years of studying to go before I qualify as solicitor.’
Gemma explained that when she was the same age as the children – 10 or 11 – she joined as many clubs at school as she could, including the school council and the drama club. She also played football for Altrincham Football Club Juniors. She urged the children to do the same saying,
‘Participating in these clubs has helped me in my legal career, school council helped me to develop problem solving skills, drama club developed my public speaking and presentations skills and football developed my team work skills. So, join as many as you can because even if you don't know what you want to do when you're older, the skills will be useful.’
Gemma gave the children a great tip for success – make a motivational poster of everything that you want to achieve. She started making her posters when she was at school and still does so. Gemma showed the children this year’s poster and saw that in 2017 Gemma is planning to learn to drive and buy a car, work very hard for her legal exams and take a well-earned holiday! As you can see in the above photo Gemma showed the children some lovely photos of herself to illustrate her journey from primary school child to university graduate and onto solicitor-in-training.
The children loved hearing from Gemma. Mr Edmundson, Head of School, congratulated her on her inspiring presentation, saying that she was an amazing role model for the children.