Keiran Meiklejohn

About me

I am an eDiscovery Manager (AVP) at Barclays.  I left SHS and went straight on to study Law at university with every intention of becoming a practising solicitor.  During the course of my studies I realised that working in traditional law wasn’t for me but this left me with career options that might not let me use my degree.  Thankfully the rise of what has become known as NewLaw was happening and I was able to take up an opportunity with international law firm Ashurst.  This was a bit of a leap of faith as I was joining a brand new team who were doing things that were not the norm in the legal industry - essentially a disrupter start-up housed within one of the UKs oldest law firms.  I spent 8 years in various roles with Ashurst Advance - the firm’s alternative legal service division.  During this time I worked with many major clients across the globe. I worked regularly with colleagues and clients in Australia which was really good for my own growth.  I recently moved to an in-house role as an eDiscovery Manager with Barclays where I’ve swapped colleagues in Australia with colleagues in New York. 

Left school

June 2010

Senior Phase

In S4 I studied Standard Grade (SCQF level 5) Maths, Biology, French and Modern Studies and Intermediate 2 (SCQF level 5) Music, History, Business Management and English.

In S5 I studied Higher (SCQF level 6) English, Music, Business Management, Modern Studies and History.

In S6 I studied Advanced Higher (SCQF level 7) Modern Studies and Higher (SCQF level 6) Geography.

Choosing my Destination

I settled on studying law reasonably easily and I would say this was largely down to my interest in Modern Studies as a subject - perhaps a testament to the way Miss Coffey brought the curriculum to life! After having settled in my degree course though I did find advice for what to do after graduating less easy to find.  Most of the focus on law schools was on the traditional career option - becoming a solicitor.  There is more help out there now for people taking alternative careers in law and I have contributed to this over the last 8 years be guest lecturing at various universities throughout Scotland and the UK.

Extra Curricular & Work Experience

I did a lot of extra curricular activities at school with the main focus being on various music groups.  In my senior years I was Depute Head Boy and house captain.  I’m also a long term member of the Scout movement. I continued extra-curricular activities at university being involved in the law society.  These activities helped me develop many skills I still use today - collaboration, communication, project management, time management, resilience - the list goes on. I credit extra curricular activities with giving me the practical skills I’ve used and my studies the theoretical knowledge.  I don’t think one without the other would work. The great thing about extra curricular activities is that they continue when you go in to the workplace. Most employers these days have employee led networks - we just call them side of desk instead of extra curricular! 

Skills I've developed

The most important skills I have developed is embracing change and innovation.  Having spent most of my career in a part of the legal industry that is still forging its path being open to change knowing how to embrace an idea and nurture it has been critical to any success I’ve had. In all industries there is no place for the ‘this is how we’ve always done it’ attitude. It is always worth remembering that if you don’t suggest the change or new way of working there’s a risk no one will! Going hand in hand with these skills is the ability to fail.  This seems like an odd skill but failure is key to innovating and learning to accept this has been a skill that has taken me some time to grasp. 

My Advice

Studies are important (and I probably should have focused a little more on this) but embracing the opportunities you have to make connections and develop skills outside of academia are just as valuable for your future so just make sure you have fun too.