Sarah was keen to join The College of Legal Practice, firstly because she believes that much of the current education for lawyers is inadequate and it does not provide the skill set needed to take on more commercial roles in businesses and firms. Sarah feels that this is ‘massive missed opportunity’ for lawyers everywhere and asks the sector, ‘is the training that we give to our lawyers really setting them up for success in a business?’.
She believes that the training that The College of Legal Practice will deliver, will make future lawyers more rounded and adaptable in their skill set and this will then set them up for success in all areas, not just the law. Sarah stresses how critical it now is for lawyers to arrive in the workplace ready and equipped with the skills needed to deliver from day one.
In relation to the in-house sector, much of an in-house lawyer’s professional development is learnt on the job, with very little training available on how to offer effective counsel and partner areas of your business. The College will be providing training for in-house lawyers, building essential skills like finance, leadership and commercial awareness to name a few.
Sarah’s own journey into law ignited her passion for widening accessibility to legal education. She was fortunate to receive funding for her own legal education; however, without that support, her parents would have been willing to re-mortgage their own house to help her pursue a legal career. The College of Legal Practice will be able to offer outstanding virtual interactive training at an affordable and accessible level, that fits within the professional working week.
Sarah is thrilled to be joining The College of Legal Practice and looks forward to contributing her expertise to developing relevant programmes for in-house departments. Given her considerable background in regulatory compliance, she will also be chairing the College’s Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee.
Sarah Dickson, Non-Executive Director, The College of Legal Practice
Sarah qualified as a corporate lawyer at DLA Piper. Since 2002, she has worked in-house for four different companies in a variety of different roles, with her focus being on commercial and regulatory law.
Sarah has been passionate about retail since she started working for Asda 14 years ago and couldn't resist the temptation of staying in the same industry when she moved to work for Britain's much loved brand Marks & Spencer earlier this year as Deputy General Counsel. This role expands Sarah's experience in commercial and multi-jurisdictional regulatory compliance.
A non-executive role at The College of Legal Practice is her dream come true. Sarah's experience in building new relationships and a drive to increase diversity means she completely identifies with the social accessibility to the law that the College offers. She is very driven to "do her bit" to prepare aspiring solicitors and legal professionals with the many different types of skills they need to succeed in a highly competitive and demanding legal market.