From legal judgements to income statements: career moves


Jessica Self

Jessica Self

Tax Senior


Why did you decide to move from law to tax?

After completing my law degree, I realised that a career in law wasn’t for me. Tax stood out as an attractive option because the regulations are constantly evolving, which means that tax advisers are consistently faced with new challenges.  I also knew I wanted to work in a client-facing role – and at Johnston Carmichael, I have plenty of opportunities to interact with clients daily.

What attracted you to Johnston Carmichael?

The company works with clients in a wide variety of industries and I saw this as a way to broaden my business knowledge. I had heard very positive reviews from people I knew who worked here and was impressed by the strong support the firm offers to graduates throughout their studies. I was also attracted by the flexible nature of the firm – including opportunities to work directly with other business lines, which isn’t always on offer in larger firms.

What do you enjoy about working in the Johnston Carmichael tax team?

My role as Tax Senior means I am a key point of contact for clients and for other Johnston Carmichael teams. I enjoy the daily interaction with clients and I’ve found that I’m often speaking to other Johnston Carmichael staff, which is a great way to get to know people across all areas of the firm! 

I also really enjoy the variety of work – from preparing proposals at the early stages of an engagement to composing bespoke tax advice for clients – which has helped develop my understanding of tax and how it relates to the diverse range of services we offer clients through our nine business lines.

Tax stood out as an attractive option because the regulations are constantly evolving, which means that tax advisers are consistently faced with new challenges.

What skills have you applied from your law degree to your career?

My studies taught me valuable problem solving and analysis skills, which have been incredibly helpful in my day-to-day working life. I have also found that it’s always good to keep an open mind, to ask lots of questions and to be eager to learn new things!

What’s the most interesting thing about your job?

The most interesting thing about my job is providing support and training to junior team members. This helps me to fully appreciate and reflect on how much I have learned in a relatively short space of time, as well as how much I have progressed at Johnston Carmichael. I find it very rewarding to play a part in the career development of others. 

Are there areas of tax you would like to specialise in?

Innovation taxes are very interesting, as the tax reliefs available for companies of all sizes carrying out research and development activities can be vital for the growth of businesses and the UK economy. I have had lots of exposure to different R&D engagements at Johnston Carmichael and I have enjoyed learning about this niche area of tax from our specialist team.

Interested in a role with Johnston Carmichael?  Every year we take on a number of talented young professionals within our offices around Scotland who each play a vital role in helping Johnston Carmichael grow. Visit our Student Careers page for full details.