Essex-born 26-year-old Joel Costi-Mouyia lives in West Didsbury and is a paralegal in our Dispute Resolution team.
When he’s not resolving disputes, he’s playing football or making music – keep reading to learn more about his route to working in law and professional aspirations for the future.
What was your role/experience prior to joining Pannone?
I graduated from the University of Liverpool in 2018 and began working for DWF as part of RSA Manchester’s in-house civil litigation team where I specialised in RTA related cases.
Although this was my first post-graduation job in law, I also previously completed work in a Citizens Advice Bureau on issues relating to welfare rights, as well as completing a three month placement in Liverpool University’s Legal Aid Clinic, where I worked on matters concerning immigration and asylum seeking.
While these two experiences are certainly different to my current line of work, they gave me invaluable exposure to the practical application of the law.
What is your role at Pannone?
I’m a paralegal in the Dispute Resolution team, dealing with a wide range of disputes in the fields of debt recovery, commercial contracts, wills and probate, property and intellectual property.
Why did you join Pannone?
Pannone is a young law firm that has grown since it started in 2014 – this success was something that I wanted to be a part of.
We’re also a firm that really emphasises the importance of a collaborative working environment, which is something that really appeals to me. As a junior member of our team, it’s often I’ll need to pick the brains of some our more senior members of staff and they’re always more than happy to help out. This has been great – not just for my own development, but also in making me feel like a welcomed and well-integrated member of the firm.
What route did you go down, in terms of training and qualifications?
I’ve had a relatively standard introduction to the legal and professional world. Not long after graduation, I began working for DWF in November of the same year and then began my LPC full-time in January 2020.
I completed this in December 2020 and was fortunate enough for DWF to offer me some part-time work whilst I completed my LPC studies, which allowed me to maintain some level of income.
I then went on to join Pannone in December 2021 and I’m delighted to have recently been offered a training contract which I am due to start in September 2023.
Why did you choose this route?
Having worked primarily in litigation for the past four years, I felt it was important to follow the training contract route as a means of expanding my knowledge alongside my contentious professional legal experience.
Pannone has a number of interesting departments dealing with non-litigious client issues such as corporate law that I’m excited to work in as part of my training contract seats and wider legal education.
What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?
Definitely hitting drafting deadlines and securing positive results for our clients. Throughout my time at Pannone, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed building and developing relationships with our clients and to be able to meet their goals and expectations is something I take a lot of pride in.
What does a typical day look like?
I normally start my day by checking through my emails to make sure that nothing urgent has come in the previous evening requiring my immediate attention. Once I’ve done this, I’ll get into the work that I’ve planned out for the day.
Organisation is an essential skill for excelling in our work, so at the end of each working day I tend to draft a small to-do list of tasks that I’ll need to tackle the following day.
What are your career ambitions?
Having been offered a training contract, my initial ambition is to qualify as a solicitor at Pannone Corporate. There’s a wealth of experience across the firm, so I’m hoping to soak up as much of this as possible and continue to develop and improve in the right way.
If you were managing partner for the day, what’s the first thing you would do?
I think I would try and promote some sort of fitness initiative to all employees. I’m a big believer in the ‘healthy body, healthy mind’ approach to life and find that if I’m regularly exercising, it helps me to manage my own workload and deal with any stresses, work-related or not, that get thrown my way.
What would you be doing if you didn’t have a career in law?
Maths was probably my long-standing favourite subject at school and was almost the subject I chose to study at university. I did toy with the idea of something more maths related, such as economics or actuarial science, but neither of these were something I ended up going for.
Career wise, it’s difficult to say, but I’ve always tried to blend my love of music and sport with my professional ambitions, so I’d like to think I may have done some sort of work dealing directly with sportspeople and musicians. My master’s dissertation was based on whether current copyright legislation provides scope for streaming platforms to exploit musicians and therefore not adequately remunerate them for their work – so law and music is something I’ve always attempted to fuse. If not this, a professional career as a musician or producer wouldn’t have gone amiss!
What can lawyers / the legal profession do to better support clients? Does anything need to change?
One step I always think is vital is to help our clients understand the litigation process. I’m conscious that from the client’s side, the legal world can be intimidating and often convoluted, so it’s important for us to untangle and simplify this as best as we can.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I currently play football for Village Manchester Football Club in the Lancashire and Cheshire Saturday league. If I’m not playing football, I also enjoy running or going to the gym.
Do you have any particular skills/talents that your work colleagues may not know about?
I take a lot of pride in my love for music and have been playing piano since around the age of eight. I have also performed as part of an indie-rock band as a singer and guitarist, having received track of the week accolades on BBC Introducing and also supported an NME award-winning artist as part of their UK tour.
In the past couple of years, I’ve also started DJing and performing in different places around Manchester – not to mention the Pannone Corporate party last Autumn.