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Dundee woman defies stereotypes to become principal solicitor before age of 30

Eilish Lindsay.
Eilish Lindsay.

A solicitor who set up a law office in her mid 20s has told how she ignored discrimination to become a success.

Eilish Lindsay opened the Dundee branch of Thompsons Solicitors just three years after becoming fully qualified.

The 28-year-old, who specialises in personal injury law, helps clients from Tayside, Fife and beyond, and said she is working to battle the stereotype of lawyers being predominantly older males.

Eilish began her career with Thompsons in 2012, when she was a student. She trained with the firm and qualified at their Glasgow office in 2017.

The following year, bosses asked her to set up the company’s first Dundee office and work there as principal solicitor, despite being just 26 at the time.

Eilish Lindsay.

Eilish said: “I know I am quite young to be in the job I am, particularly running the office, but I like to think I’m battling the usual stereotypes of what a lawyer is and what can you expect from one.

“As a young woman working in law I have faced stereotypes. I’ve had clients walk into meetings and thought we were waiting on the solicitor arriving. When you explain your experience they’re always more willing to give me a chance.

“We would never put any member of staff in charge of something they were dealing with something they didn’t have experience in.”

Braving stereotypes

Eilish also encouraged young women not to be put off by stereotypes, particularly as more females than ever before are entering the profession.

She said: “Walking into a courtroom and being the only young female in the room can be quite daunting but you need to find your voice and not be scared off.

“I have the same qualifications and experience as anyone else so they need to respect that.

“I’ve been lucky that I’ve never faced major gender discrimination but I do notice people looking at me and thinking I’m quite young.

“Law has traditionally been a male dominated industry and higher up in some firms that pattern is still followed but more females are joining the industry than men, so hopefully we will challenge that gender balance in the years to come and hopefully it’s something fewer people will have to experience.”

Eilish studied in Edinburgh before working in the Glasgow office and then moving to Dundee.

She hopes her empathy and sensitivity helps put clients at ease following traumatic experiences.

“My workload can be anything from someone who has been in an accident at work or slipped in the street down to more serious and even fatal injuries, for example road traffic accidents,” she said.

“My role is to provide as much support as possible, explain the process and take some of the stress away from what can be quite a daunting situation.

“For a lot of people the idea of going to see a lawyer can be quite scary so I like to try to take that element of fear out of it and let them I know I just want to help them.

“It’s a natural reaction to sit down at the end of the day and think ‘I can’t believe that happeed to this person’.

“I always just try to think how can I help and hopefully stop it happening to someone else.

“If you didn’t feel that sympathy I’d maybe think it’s not the right job for you because empathy is a huge part of client care.”

Great empathy

When Thompsons bosses decided to open the Dundee branch, senior partner Andrew Henderson said Eilish was the natural choice.

“We were very keen that Eilish take up the role of running the office,” he said.

“She brings to our Dundee office a great combination of experience in personal injury law and a determination to fight for accident and disease victims.

“Most importantly Eilish always shows great empathy and care for her clients who often come to us when they are facing extremely difficult circumstances in their lives. “