International Women’s Day 2020: Emma Winter

Litigation Practice Manager Emma Winter on her role at EIP and what International Women’s Day means to her.

Describe your role at EIP

I am currently the Litigation Practice Manager at EIP where I manage a team of paralegals in the UK office and two paralegals in the German office. I also bridge the gap between the partners and associates/trainees in the Legal Team of the UK office.

My primary responsibilities include coordinating my team’s workload; dealing with any HR issues that may arise amongst my team or the rest of Legal Team; being involved in the recruitment process by screening CVs and liaising with the partners on potential candidates and carrying out interviews. I also support the partners by managing the administrative side of the Legal Team – tasks can range from organising inductions for new starters; providing training on applications; facilitating thoughts of the Legal team in the partner meetings.

Before I was promoted to Litigation Practice Manager, I started my EIP career as a Litigation Paralegal, and then became the Litigation Paralegal Manager. As the team increased, I was approached by the partners in the Legal Team to become the Litigation Practice Manager with a view of taking some of the administrative tasks off the partners’ shoulders.

What are your main challenges?

The main challenge would be keeping the whole Legal Team happy as much as possible – there are balances that need to be reached regarding workload or holiday requests or opinions on how things should be run.

International Women’s Day is about celebrating social, economic and political achievements of women. Which personal achievement are you most proud of?

Being promoted to Litigation Practice Manager – as being dyslexic and finding exams a struggle, I didn’t go to university. I left college and went straight into working at a local law firm. It was there at 23 that I then got my first litigation paralegal job in London. From there I worked my way up through different law firms in London and manged to build up my knowledge.

How has dyslexia affected your working life?

Day to day this has not affected my working life too much. I sometimes find writing emails difficult, but this has meant that my emails are generally short and to the point, which perhaps is not a bad thing! I also struggle with a short-term memory which is common in people who have dyslexia but again I manage this, for example if I am going into a meeting, I just make sure I take a notepad with me. Overall I have been lucky enough to pick up my knowledge by learning my profession on the job.

The common perception of the legal industry is that it’s male-dominated. What has been your experience in the firms you have worked?

I would say, when I first started as a litigation paralegal in London, this was true amongst the fee earners with the support staff mainly being female. But I have seen a shift over my career and now there are many more female fee earners which I am pleased about.

The 2020 International Women’s Day campaign theme is #EachforEqual. What is your interpretation of that?

That it doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman, everybody has the right to do the same job for the same pay.