We are delighted to confirm that Isabelle Munyabarenzi, Associate and Solicitor in our Corporate team, was named Junior Lawyer of the Year at the Nottinghamshire Law Society Annual Awards Dinner 2020.
The award recognises a solicitor with up to five years’ experience who has gone above and beyond the day-to-day expectations of a junior lawyer, with the judges looking for someone who has made a significant contribution both within their organisation and more widely within the local legal community.
Isabelle joined us in 2015 as a Paralegal, before starting her training contract in 2017. She qualified as a Solicitor in September 2019 and now specialises in corporate law services, including acquisitions, disposals and mergers, and company formations and reorganisations. She said:
“The path to becoming a lawyer is very long and there are ups and downs on the way, which can sometimes be discouraging. I remember when I finished my undergraduate degree and I struggled to get a training contract. After completing my LPC in 2015, I tried again and was given the opportunity at Nelsons.
“I’ve grown with the firm – trained here, qualified and stayed ever since. Winning this award is a true honour and it’s great to be recognised for the hard work I’ve put in over the years. More importantly, it’s testament to the team around me; I wouldn’t be the lawyer I am without the training I’ve received and the people who’ve shaped me into the solicitor I am today.
“Just being nominated for a Junior Lawyer Award was incredible, so to walk away a winner – just over a year after qualifying – is a real dream. I’m so overwhelmed by everyone’s kind and positive reaction.”
Since qualifying, Isabelle has been involved in a high number of share sales and various refinancing/restructuring deals, as well as dealing with other company administrative and governance matters for our clients.
“I never thought I’d qualify into corporate but during my training contract, I was asked to support the team as they were busy. Within a month of joining the department, I knew this was the career path for me. I’m so thankful for the training contract Nelsons offered me as it provided me with a fantastic opportunity to try out different areas of law and settle on the one that called my name.”
As well as showing impressive growth in her technical skills and confidence within her role, Isabelle supports the Nottingham legal community.
Through her membership in the Black Solicitors Network, Isabelle has mentored young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who aspire to enter the legal profession, and has supported work experience placement students who have shadowed her in her work.
Alice Rees, Partner in Corporate team, said:
“In October 2018, Issie joined the Corporate team at a time when the department was in the throes of advising on a number of high value of transactions, which would have been a daunting prospect for most trainees.
“Not only did Issie embrace this challenge with enthusiasm and competence, she excelled and quickly proved herself to be a pro-active, organised, and team-conscious individual with client care and service at the forefront of her approach. During her time with us as a trainee, Isabelle became an invaluable member of the team and was offered a role upon qualification.
“Since then, Issie has continued to show impressive growth in her technical skills and confidence within her role. She lives out the Nelsons behaviours in all she does and believes in the values that lie at the heart of our culture. We are delighted she has been named Junior Lawyer of the Year by the Nottinghamshire Law Society – highlighting her hard work and dedication. I’m looking forward to seeing her continue to flourish with Nelsons.”