Trainee solicitor | Shoosmiths
- State school educated
- First generation lawyer
After completing my law degree at Nottingham Trent University, I made the decision to self-fund the Legal Practice Course at the University of Law in Birmingham, where I graduated from with a Distinction in 2015.
As a law graduate with no family members in the legal industry, I really struggled initially with obtaining work experience and subsequently my first paralegal position. It took me 4 years of undertaking numerous unpaid work placements at small high street firms during my undergraduate studies before I was able to secure my first full-time job at a law firm. Whilst I found this disheartening at times, I know that my experience has made me a more confident person and has proven my resilience and tenacity to the industry, which are both key attributes of any aspiring solicitor in today’s challenging climate.
After working as a paralegal at national law firm Shakespeare Martineau following the completion of my LPC, I secured a paralegal position at Shoosmiths in their Property Litigation team in December 2016. Having applied to Shoosmiths previously for a training contract to no avail, I used my time as a paralegal with the firm to gain as much commercial experience as possible and learn as much about Shoosmiths’ business as I could. After 18 months in this role, I successfully secured a training contract commencing in September 2018 combined with an NQ solicitor role in the Property Litigation team at Shoosmiths. By working as a paralegal at the firm prior to commencing my training contract, I was able to gain valuable experience and develop key skills which are already proving to be invaluable to life as a trainee solicitor.
Given that the industry is becoming increasingly competitive, I think it crucial that any aspiring solicitor focuses on being the best possible candidate they can be before embarking on (what can be) a gruelling training contract process. I am, therefore, really keen to help others, wherever possible, who are starting out on the journey that I have been on to date. As such, please do not hesitate to get in touch with any questions about life as a law graduate, paralegal or trainee.