Emily Eldridge, Associate Property Lawyer at Conveyancing Direct - Young Conveyancer 2014

1. Firstly, what is your role?
I am an Associate Property Lawyer for Conveyancing Direct Property Lawyers. This involves managing a case load of around 85 sales and purchases and seeing the transactions through from instruction to exchange, completion and registration.

2. Why did you choose a career in conveyancing?
I started working with Conveyancing Direct as a legal assistant in 2010. I stumbled upon this position really - having graduated with a Journalism and English Literature Degree I quickly decided I did not want to pursue journalism in London, and began applying for ‘stop gap’ roles in my local area. Conveyancing Direct is a wonderful place to work however and I found myself becoming more and more interested in conveyancing itself. I therefore applied to be promoted to a case handler and decided to make my career in conveyancing.

3. What attracted you to your particular specialism?

I enjoy the fact that no title is the same as the last, and in turn each file brings a new set of circumstances – with each matter you are likely to learn another aspect of the law in this area. Additionally, I find that it is a fairly structured role - with each file there is a point which triggers moving on to the next stage in the transaction. I find that I respond well to organisation and structure and following a specific process.

4. What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
I enjoy seeing a file through from beginning to exchange and completion – I try and build a good rapport with my clients, meaning that I take pleasure from ensuring that they get to completion as swiftly and painlessly as possible. It is lovely to call a first time buyer and let them know their keys are available for them.

5. What particular challenges are you or have you faced in these tougher times?
I am fortunate in that, as a business, Conveyancing Direct shields its employees from many of the concerns that face others in the industry. I don’t have to worry about where my next file is coming from or whether the business is going to be around next year and get to focus on my clients and ensuring I do a good job. The main difficulties I face are the expectations of third parties and the delaying factors in the market place. As a Conveyancing Association member, Conveyancing Direct is backing the campaign on leasehold information. A lot of transactions we deal with are adversely affected by the time, and cost, involved with obtaining this information and something needs to change to benefit all parties involved.

6. What do you think will be growth opportunities for the conveyancing profession over the next couple of years?
I think that the conveyancing as a profession is becoming increasingly reliant on technology to make the process more streamlined. For example the recent developments with the Land Registry allowing for electronic registration has enabled the post completion process to become swifter and easier. I believe that the use of technology will increase over the next couple of years allowing the conveyancing profession to respond to the demands of the market to a greater extent.

7. What’s been your most enjoyable or high profile recent piece of work?

I wouldn't say my files are particularly high profile but I enjoy what I do and being able to get people into their new home, particularly if things don’t go well and you know you have gone that extra mile to help, is really satisfying.

8. What inspires you when it comes to your work?
I enjoy learning and so I find the fact that I am in a profession within which there is always the opportunity to learn something new very inspiring. For example as I said above, no title is the same and with each comes a particular set of circumstances. I like investigating these circumstances and putting the pieces together essentially to ensure that the property in question is a worthwhile investment for my client. In turn if it is not, I enjoy working out what can be done to make it so.

9. Do you work by a particular mantra or motto in your business life?
I don’t have a mantra per se. I do however try to ensure that I am consistent in my approach, giving my clients the service that they should expect each and every day.

10. Can you give one piece of professional advice to your peers?
I think communication is very important in this profession. I try to update both my clients and the third party agents and brokers as much as possible and I feel this allows me to develop greater professional working relationships. Selling and purchasing a property is inevitably a stressful time, and I think it is important to try and take as much of that stress away as possible - being approachable and available is an easy way to do that.