Everyone’s journey to obtaining a training contract is unique and mine was no different. If at first you don’t get a training contract they try, try again. I’d applied for umpteen training contracts before I secured my position at Brown Turner Ross.
Prior to working at Brown Turner Ross, I worked for a Firm in Bolton and attended University to finalise my Masters in Law and the start of my LPC [Legal Professional Course]. I decided during my studies that I would pursue career development opportunities and began volunteering at the University’s Legal Advice Clinic [LAC].
Throughout the two years volunteering at the LAC I researched various legal issues and gained confidence in leading client interviews and obtaining instructions in order to give the correct advice relevant to each individual client. My experience in the LAC also enabled me to make the decision to conduct research into the accessibility of legal advice and how I could make it more accessible in practice.
I worked at the Bolton Firm for two years before having to make the hard decision to leave in order that I could secure a training contract. Unfortunately, my firm was not able to provide me with a training contract and respected my decision to leave or stop.
I researched Brown Turner Ross and decided that even if it meant an approximate hour and a half to two-hour commute to work that it was worth it to have the training contract. It was my view and remains to this day, that I had worked too hard to not progress in my chosen career.
Why Brown Turner Ross Limited?
Brown Turner Ross is a High Street Firm dealing with various areas of law including Private Client, which to this day remains an interest of mine. A major attraction of the firm was that it is a long-established Firm with a female Managing Director, which highlights the diversity of the firm and the accessibility for women in law.
I was informed that the firm had previously taken on Paralegals and offered them a Training Contract on successful working standards. It was this which led me to the decision to apply as a Paralegal at Brown Turner Ross.
During my interview with the Managing director of Brown Turner Ross I made it clear to her that I was looking for career progression and to obtain a training contract. I felt it was important that both myself and the firm were working on the same page, and they understood that I did not want to be a Paralegal in the long term.
The Managing Director, Samantha Bushell, told me that provided I could work well in the department and showed enthusiasm in my work, then a training contract would be considered after a period of time. Following the successful interview, I started working in the Firm’s Private Client department and quickly got stuck in.
Prior to being offered a Training Contract I worked hard in the department as a Paralegal assisting on client matters and taking control of some matters under the supervision of more senior members of staff. Alongside my work duties I also volunteered to assist in writing articles for the Firm’s website and worked with the Firm’s website developer to update the website.
The Training Contract
Seven months after joining the Firm I approached the Managing Director and discussed my progress with the Firm, where I was offered a Training Contract to commence in October.
Within the Seven months as a Paralegal, I had not only demonstrated that I was determined to learn but that I was willing to put the graft and put in the hard work whether this was in terms of doing the relevant legal research on a matter in anticipation of a client meeting or in finding this last turn another country to advise on cross border matters.
They also showed during this time that not only could I meet the firm's target of 70 units a day, but I was also able to spend time when necessary with those clients who needed a sympathetic ear especially at the most upsetting and troubling times for them and their families.
My training consisted of seats in the Firm's Private Client department and Conveyancing department for start where I worked under the direct supervision of qualified solicitors and was routinely quizzed on the specific area of law I was assisting with and asked Socratic questions to aid in my learning.
The training contract is by no means easy, not that it should be, and believe me there will be days when you will ask yourself whether this is the right career path and if you're even able to do the work that you are doing. I went through this a couple of times in my Training Contract, but I picked myself up, asked for help, researched, read, read some more and at the end of the day when all is said and done, I knew that the reason I was going through this training was to help those who need it. To make a complex legal question easier for my clients to understand.
During my training contracts and the only help I applied the law and research changes in it to draught contracts and commercial property also find the correct wording for applause in a local stop but I have also increased my business awareness and successfully made a working relationship the row charity assisting the firm in next sponsorship.
I wish I could help events last year and media publications will stop as trainee solicitor you don't only deal with your clients but you need to understand how law firm works in ways in which you can become an asset to the team rather than just an employee. You work long hours, you pick up work which stereotypically wouldn't be in your job description and most importantly in everything you do you give it your all.
Top tips for obtaining a training contract
Remember why you've chosen the square path on what you want from it. Don't think that you finished when you completed the training contracts and become a solicitor. There is always more to learn, more developments and a lot more reading on current awareness of the special date you want to work in, and if you haven't decided on that yet then don't worry! There's time to find out what work you prefer to do and where your passion lies.