On Sunday 15 April, Jason Logendra, senior legal counsel at Sky, will run the Brighton Marathon to raise money for ROK (at the time of this interview, Jason had already raised over £1400!)
He tells us about his career to date, why he’s running for ROK and how lyrics from a Misha B freestyle became an unusual source of inspiration…
What is your current job title?
Senior legal counsel (competition & regulatory) at Sky.
What does your job entail on a day-to-day basis?
My role is to refine strategy and put ideas into practice. I do that by (i) speaking to people to understand what they want to achieve and why; (ii) understanding the law through reading cases and policy documents; and (iii) persuading others through meetings and written submissions. So my job entails talking, reading and writing in fairly equal amounts.
How did you get involved in the legal industry?
I’ve always enjoyed solving problems. I studied law at university as I wanted something that required analytical thinking but allowed scope for creativity. However, I left university feeling unsure about whether it was the right career for me. I temped at a number of law firms whilst figuring out my options.
That was when I discovered competition law. I enjoyed learning about how different industries operated. From then on it was a case of persistently applying for jobs (submitting my CV and following up with calls to make sure that it had been read), relying on people I met in the legal profession to give me advice about where I should apply and how to tailor my applications. I then secured a training contract in the firm where I was a paralegal. That was the biggest hurdle.
What was your first ever job and did you enjoy it?
My first job was a two day contract checking that all of the pages in one set of binders were exactly the same as the pages in a copy set. I loved it because it was an opportunity.
If you weren’t doing what you do now, what would you want to be doing career-wise?
I’d be doing some form of business in a regulated sector. Regulation puts off a lot of people, which makes it an opportunity for those who engage with it.
In terms of educational/career attainment, what are the main challenges facing BAME young people today and what do you think can/should be done to overcome them?
That’s a big question. I think the main challenge is that people tend to hire others who are like themselves. They see it as a safe bet even if someone else could be better. We need educate the gatekeepers to play it less safe and allow others to shine in their own ways. Reverse mentoring is a great initiative where senior business leaders are mentored by young people who are from different backgrounds.
If you could give one piece of advice to a young person who wants to work in the legal industry, what would it be?
There’s a line in a freestyle by Misha B: “it’s your attitude, not your aptitude that will determine your altitude.” I think that’s true once your foot is in the door. However, to get to that point you have to demonstrate what you are capable of. The easiest way to do that is through consistently high grades. So study hard and show the world what you can do.
You’re running the Brighton Marathon in April for ROK. Why did you decide to do so?
ROK is a massively important charity. Fairness and equality are fundamental to a happy society. ROK seeks to break down barriers to help young people – our future leaders – get equal opportunities. The people behind ROK are tireless and passionate, and I wanted to support them in some way.
Running a marathon seemed appropriate as it takes one of the things I’m most grateful for (the ability to walk) and pushes me outside of my comfort zone. I particularly liked Brighton as the city represents inclusiveness.