Two years after being offered a training contract at B P Collins, the time has finally come to start! This week I start my first seat in the dispute resolution team and I’m faced with the unsurprising feelings of excitement and nerves. I do, however, feel a sense of relief that I’ve had experience as a paralegal before being thrown into the deep end.
After graduating, I wanted to gain as much work experience as possible to find the right law firm for me and to work out what areas of law I’m interested in. I applied to numerous paralegal roles and eventually got a job in the banking and finance litigation department in a local law firm. This firm later merged with a global law firm so I was lucky enough to gain experience working in two very different sized businesses. I soon realised that working in a law firm is worlds apart from studying law at an academic level. Although I enjoyed the theoretical side of my degree, I didn’t have much understanding when it came to how a law firm actually operates and the reality of working for clients. Working as a paralegal allowed me to gain valuable insight into life at a law firm and really helped me to answer the infamous interviewing question: what does commercial awareness mean?
“After a week at the firm, I was able to see how much responsibility the trainees get and how open and collaborative the departments are”.
As part of my search for a training contract, I applied for summer work experience at B P Collins. After a week at the firm, I was able to see how much responsibility the trainees get and how open and collaborative the departments are and I knew I wanted to apply for a training contract here. I was excited (and relieved!) when I was offered a training contract and was happy that I waited for a firm that fit my personality and offered the kind of working environment that I wanted.
“Working as a paralegal allowed me to gain valuable insight into life at a law firm”.
After an intense year completing the LPC, I started as a paralegal with the firm’s employment team. This experience has been extremely valuable as there are so many different aspects of life at a law firm which you only really appreciate once you’ve started working. I’ve learnt more about how a law firm operates as a business, the importance of recording my time accurately and managing client expectations. My confidence has improved by practising dictation and answering initial client calls. Even just getting to grips with the basics such as discovering the database system and using precedents will allow me to hit the ground running in my first week. Not only this, but I’ve been able to talk to the current trainees about their experiences and discover first-hand the kind of work I can expect during my training contract.
Although I’m sure there’ll be plenty of ups and downs over the next two years, I’m excited to take on more responsibility, gain experience in different areas of law and get involved in all aspects of life as a trainee.
Posted by Ella Moxey