GemmaLodgeWith tremendous hard work and talent, Gemma has built a career for herself in the Real Estate team at DLA Piper and is now a highly regarded associate in the London-office.

When Gemma first joined DLA Piper as an office assistant almost 19 years ago she had no inkling as to the opportunities that might lie ahead. After some challenging periods early in life – including a brief spell in local authority care – before leaving home at 16, Gemma admits that it just did not occur to her that a career in such a highly regarded profession as the law would be open to her.

After years of combining full-time work as a legal assistant with part-time study, she proudly qualified as a legal executive (in 2007) before re-qualifying as a solicitor in 2011. Gemma handles a wide range of commercial property transactions, primarily dealing with sales and purchases for institutional investors and high-value commercial lettings.

Gemma is keen to use her personal experiences to help champion the talents of others who have never even considered a career in law or who might have disregarded traditional routes to qualification due to the financial burden and risk involved. She is convinced that the ability to “learn while you earn” is the key to improving diversity in the workplace.

Gemma says “Hard work and determination aside, the only reason I am where I now am is because a woman I whole-heartedly respected in her professional capacity as a senior partner at DLA Piper took me aside one day and told me one day that I could. I can only hope to encourage others in the same fashion”.