A conversation with Lisa Murungi Masolo on Ortus Africa

 

Q. Firstly, tell us a bit about yourself…

A. I am a lawyer at Ortus Africa. I completed my undergraduate degree in Law at Durham University (with Honours) and my Legal Practice Course at BPP Holborn, England with a first-class degree.

Q. What interested you about Ortus Africa? 

A. Ortus Africa is unlike any other law firm in Uganda. They are a full-service firm that offers tax advisory, legal and financial services all under one roof. This full-service experience allows anyone that works there to garner experience that ideally, one wouldn’t obtain at a traditional law firm. Even before I started working at Ortus, I appreciated their modern take on the industry. The knowledge and experience that I am gaining from working together with multiple talented and specialised professionals have given me an insight into areas of finance and tax that I don’t think would be achieved in an ordinary law firm. 

Q. What departments have you worked in? 

A. So far, I have done work in the Project Finance, Banking and Finance, Employment and Intellectual Property Law departments. 

Q. What is the most interesting work you have done and were passionate about?

A. I am enjoying all the various departments I’m working in; however, I have particularly enjoyed Due Diligence and Compliance, and Project Finance. I am very interested in the way both departments take you on a journey. You can work on all aspects of a major transaction from start to finish as opposed to working on an isolated issue such as an employment matter or an intellectual property case. With these two departments, you tackle technical, regulatory, employment, intellectual property, etc. elements of the transactions and it is an immersive experience that is truly enthralling.

Q. Would you recommend our members to apply for an internship there?

A. I would encourage anyone that is looking for a high-level firm to apply to Ortus, particularly if any members are in the UK and are wary of what a career in a Ugandan law firm would entail. This would be an excellent opportunity for them to decide whether they should take on the Legal Practice Course (UK), Law Development Centre (Uganda) or any other career decisions they may be struggling with.

Q. How do you make sure you are a valuable asset to the team and gain the trust of your supervisors?

A. We must remember that the law is a saturated industry and you have to make yourself and your value stand out – especially during this pandemic due to the likely layoffs and re-adjustments law firms may make. My advice is to work on skill sets that set you apart aside from the law – it could be doing a course in an ancillary field that could improve your legal work (such as tax or finance) or improving your networking skills to bring in more clients. Secondly, work on your branding. You must remember that law is a business and a client-facing one at that. Therefore, you should assess how your brand comes across to potential and actual clients because it is one of the aspects, aside from your work, that shall draw them to you.

Q. What makes Ortus Africa an emerging leading Law firm in Uganda?

A. Ortus is focused on global and national emerging trends. There is an emphasis on technology and media and its role in the legal sphere. Our Partners are also ranked highly by IFLR 1000, Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners which are all international lawyers and law firm ranking agencies. Additionally, we recently became the first law firm in Africa to join the Yingke Global Legal Alliance, a network of over 8,000 lawyers in 113 cities in 53 countries. These accolades put Ortus at the forefront of the industry in Uganda and open a wealth of opportunities for both its clients and team members.

Q. Anything else you think our members should know?

A. The law is an ever-evolving industry and I would recommend that you constantly keep on top of it. You should be adaptable, willing to learn and flexible. Learn from people and network to grow your client base and retain them for a long period.

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