Editor’s note: This is part of a series of Q&As with leading women in the legal profession, in honor of National Women’s History Month. They were conducted and written by the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa.

Sharon White, the CEO of Stephenson Harwood, started her career as an accounts clerk, doing basic audit and accounts work while she studied for her A levels. “I took a slightly unusual path, though I knew I wanted to be a lawyer at that stage,” she says. After she completed her A levels, she went on to study law at the University of Essex. She trained at a small firm before moving to Stephenson Harwood when she was two-years qualified—and she’s been there ever since. “I joined the corporate team, and as time moved on, I became a partner in 1997 and then held various managerial roles,” she says. Before being appointed CEO in 2009, Sharon assisted with trainee recruitment, heading the trainee panel at one point; consulted on premises options at various stages; and briefly sat on the supervisory council before becoming head of the corporate group.

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