Shelagh Rule is armed with qualifications from South Africa, the United Kingdom and New York in the United States, so she’s a triple threat indeed. Having earned her LLB at Wits University in South Africa, she was sitting for her masters degree at the University of Edinburgh when the opportunity arose for her to take the New York bar exam through the Barbri program. Rule was able to study for it alongside her masters and ended up with two new arrows in her quiver.
Rule, an expert in venture capital and private equity, said being qualified in multiple jurisdictions was highly beneficial for both the client and the lawyer, especially since work then does not have to be outsourced.
“You are able to advise in multiple jurisdictions and fully deliver on mandates that span multiple legal jurisdictions and multiple legal systems. It's invaluable when you work in a team that you not only understand the requirements of the jurisdiction you're working in, but also the requirements of the other teams that you are working with,” she said.
Another plus is being able to manage client expectations, save on costs and improve efficiencies.
She also pointed out that holding more than one qualification provided more opportunities. “You get to work on deals you wouldn't normally have the chance to work on. You get to see how transactions are run in jurisdictions all over the world. And, again, you can learn so much from that,” said Rule.
Her counsel to her younger self and other aspirant lawyers considering multiple qualifications is, “Don't be scared to jump in as soon as you can.”
This podcast series is a collaboration with the UK Ministry of Justice and GREAT Legal Services in partnership with Africa Legal in the lead up to our event in Johannesburg on 31 August, focusing on Law at an International Level.
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