Lisa Bacon is one of six partners at SHB Solicitors. It’s a relatively small firm with 20 members of staff, offering friendly advice in relation to wills, probate and powers of attorney, conveyancing (residential and commercial), family matters, divorce and civil litigation.

Having been established for over 150 years, they know how to treat their clients. They offer a personal service which guarantees you only deal with one fee earner and one secretary during the course of your matter. They don’t believe in passing you from pillar to post.

It’s this personal service that has seen Lisa shortlisted for the Rising Star Award (The Midlands).

Forward Ladies: Tell us a bit about your career journey to date?

LB: I started off in the firm as an office junior, having left school with 4 mediocre O-levels as they were then.

The Senior Partner at that time sent me to night school to learn secretarial and bookkeeping skills. After two or three years as a secretary and deputy legal cashier I was asked if I wanted to pursue a career in law. I thought why not!

I went to De Montfort University one morning and evening a week and did the rest of the study (4 years) during the evenings and weekends. It was hard keeping up with it all while working full-time as well.

Forward Ladies: What are the top 3 challenges you’ve faced as a leader and how have you overcome them?

LB: The biggest challenge was during the last recession when conveyancing dropped off (because people weren’t buying and selling property).

It caused our profits to slump and the firm struggled. It was hard juggling money to keep everyone happy. However we always paid our wages on time along with VAT and tax which were the main things!

Forward Ladies: How do you bounce back from rejection and the challenges?

LB: I don’t have a problem with rejection! When I was at school if you weren’t chosen for the various teams and were rejected, you dealt with it.

I did attend an interview for another job years ago and didn’t get the job, but I knew the reason why. The Senior Partner had asked if I was married and wanted children – I was about 23 or 24 at the time –  and I said I was married and did want children. As soon as the words came out of my mouth the interview was over. Thankfully, that question wouldn’t be allowed these days.

Forward Ladies: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career to date?

LB: Not to look down on people or pull rank. People respond much better if you treat them as equals.

Forward Ladies: What advice can you offer to women who want a career in your industry?

LB: Make sure it’s what you want to do rather than someone else telling you what they think you should do.

Forward Ladies: How do you maintain a work/life balance?

LB: It’s difficult sometimes. You have to be strong! It’s very easy to take a file home to have a look at or come in on a Saturday when it’s quieter.

Forward Ladies: How have your found the mentors and sponsors to support you in your career?

LB: When I started at 16 years of age, I had a very good Senior Partner in the firm who saw potential in me and nurtured me. He was an excellent mentor and the firm was a great sponsor paying for everything from books to my course and exam fees.

Forward Ladies: Thank you for your time Lisa, it’s been great getting to know more about you!

Would you like your hard work to be recognised, just like Lisa’s has been? Then apply for one of our prestigious National Women in Business awards, so we can celebrate your success and inspire other women to do the same. There’s nothing we love more than promoting incredible women in business!