Josephine Rogers is a trainee solicitor at Attwaters Jameson Hill Solicitors. Below, Josephine talks graduating, how she’s found moving into a trainee solicitor role, and what other graduates can do to secure a job in the law.
Why did you want to get into the law?
I decided to go into law because I knew it would always challenge me; whether that was intellectually, because of the problems I would have to work hard to resolve, or because of the variety of people I would encounter. I also believed I would find it rewarding and there would be a feeling of accomplishment in helping people.
Did you study a law or non-law degree?
Firstly I studied a non-law degree in Politics at Manchester Metropolitan University. I then converted my degree to obtain a Graduate Diploma in Law, and later completed the Legal Practice Course with a Masters in Law, Business and Management at the University of Law.
How did you go about securing your training contract?
I joined Attwaters Jameson Hill in July 2016 as a Legal Assistant. Although I had work experience and had completed my GDL by this point, I had never worked full-time in a law firm before. Therefore, I knew it would be imperative to make a concerted effort to establish myself within the firm in order to climb up the ladder and be recognised as a suitable candidate. I was willing to take on all tasks asked of me and eventually was offered the busy and demanding step-up role to Paralegal. By gaining as much experience as possible, and carrying out a mixture of administrative and fee earning work over 2.5 years, the opportunity eventually presented itself to take the next step up to Trainee Solicitor.
What would your top tips be towards securing a work placement?
- Do your research and know why you’re approaching a firm.
- Be confident. If you know why you want to work for a firm and are confident in your skills/abilities, then it is important to show this.
Where are you in your training now and how are you feeling about it?
I have recently commenced my second seat within the Commercial Department. Going into a new area and feeling like you’re starting from scratch again is a little daunting, but it is part of the challenge and is another step forward to reaching the ultimate goal of qualifying (which for me will be in August 2020).
What does your role consist of now?
I am primarily assisting the Partner and Head of Corporate, Company & Commercial. I help with existing cases, but particularly are brought onboard with new cases which enables me to see a file from start to finish. The day-to-day tasks will vary from assisting with general file management, drafting, researching, as well as attending meetings.
Is there anything you would look to do differently?
I wouldn’t say there is anything I would have done differently, as ultimately I have ended up where I want to be and am continuing in the direction I wish to be heading. I could have done a law degree and not had to do the conversion. But I enjoyed my undergrad degree, and the subjects I studied which engaged me most are partly what drove me to do the GDL.
What advice would you give to graduates?
Perseverance is key. There will be lots of competition and you will face rejection, but you should not let this stop you.
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