Professional Ambassadors

Sam H

Trainee Solicitor | Shoosmiths

Profile Highlights:

  • First generation lawyer
  • State school educated
  • BTEC qualification instead of A-levels
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After having taken a somewhat unconventional route to university, I started studying Law at the University of Sheffield in 2012. No one in my family comes from a legal background so, naturally, my parents were more than a little surprised when I said I wanted to study Law.

Despite having initially embarked on a 3 year degree, I made the decision, late on in my second year, to spend my third year of university studying abroad. By the time I graduated in 2016, I was in the very fortunate position of (a) having lived in 3 different countries and (b) having a training contract secured with Shoosmiths LLP after undertaking a vacation placement with them over a summer.

I looked at all sorts of firms before making my applications but settled on a select number with Shoosmiths being my number one choice. The unstuffy atmosphere of the firm, the friendliness and caliber of its staff, coupled with the award winning training, made it a no brainer. I still vividly remember getting the phone call from Graduate Recruitment and the feeling of elation that followed!

I started my training contract in September 2017 in the Employment Team. I was a little apprehensive at first having never studied Employment Law before but my fears were quickly allayed as the whole team were very friendly and supportive. During my time in the Employment Team, I got the unique opportunity to work on many top quality client instructions related to data protection compliance in the run up to 25 May 2018, the day the General Data Protection Regulation came into force.

Since then, I spent 6 months in the Corporate Department – this gave me the chance to work with a host of different clients on a range of matters, in some instances, being given the lead on drafting, negotiation and liaising with the client and other side’s solicitors.

I am currently in my third seat (Commercial Department) on secondment at Volkswagen Group UK, one of the firm’s clients. This opportunity has provided me with invaluable experience in terms of being able to see things from a client’s point of view.

The upper echelons of the legal profession, to most, have the outward facing persona of being reserved for those from a specific socio-economic background. I too was once of this view, which was only compounded by a trip I made to a renowned Magic Circle firm in my first year of university. Whilst the firm in question is rather atypical of the industry as a whole, it made me realise that there is still a lot of progress to be made to increase diversity and dismiss age old stereotypes.

The reason I became an Aspiring Solicitors ambassador was to be able to share my experience with prospective trainee solicitors, dispel any myths or misconceptions about the industry, and provide any advice I can as to application processes. Please feel free to contact me.

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