I studied music at university, but always knew I would convert to law after graduating. A lot of my family are in law, and it’s such a wide area that I knew there would be plenty to interest me. The logical and fair approach to working through problems towards a solution tailored to each client, really appealed to me.
I joined Fladgate as a paralegal in the property litigation department. Although it’s always busy, the work-life balance is far better here than at other firms, and even as a paralegal, I had plenty of client contact. Everyone was friendly and I felt at home from the start.
I applied as a paralegal, so when we got to the assessment day, I felt more relaxed than many of the other candidates. I knew the office, I knew many of the partners, but that meant I felt an additional pressure to impress and perform well. There was a group exercise, a written exercise, a legal reasoning test and an opportunity to network with partners and trainees. I was invited back to interview with two partners a few weeks later, and offered the training contract shortly after that.
Make sure that your application isn’t robotic; it needs to show some of your personality. Remember, the more interesting things there are on your CV, the more interesting things there are to talk about at interview. Make sure you’ve done your research, and namecheck similar firms if asked at interview where else you have applied. Always get someone else to read through your application before you submit it – even if they can’t check the legal bits, they will pick up typos that you’ve stopped seeing.
In my property litigation seat I am involved in all stages of the dispute resolution process, from initial instructions to trial or (preferably!) settlement. A typical day might include drafting (notices, witness statements, correspondence), researching a point of law, or dealing with the courts.
I love cooking, and am currently trying to work my way through the cookbooks I have sitting on my shelf, but seldom find the time to use! Thankfully, my department don’t seem to mind the regular provision of various baked goods…