My Route to Qualification
Qualifications and Work Experience
My route to qualification started with my undergraduate degree at Bournemouth University. During my degree, I undertook a ‘sandwich’ placement at a Local Authority in West Sussex, before returning to Bournemouth to complete my final year. During my degree I also gained experience with an in-house Legal Team at an aviation company, and completed three mini pupillages with a London set.
I graduated from Bournemouth University in 2018 with first class honours, before going straight on to studying for my LPC. I completed my LPC alongside gaining experience at a local law firm, where I worked primarily with the Health Care team. I graduated from my LPC with commendation in 2019.
My Ellis Jones Journey
I came to Ellis Jones in May 2019 after initially applying for a 2020 Training Contract in April that year. I was told that my training contract application would be considered in the summer; however, Ellis Jones offered me the chance to interview for a Paralegal role within the Dispute Resolution department, with an immediate start.
I was initially drawn to Ellis Jones as the firm had a great reputation locally for providing first-class training and the opportunity to work with leading lawyers in the area. I had already experienced the friendly nature of the firm, having met some of the junior lawyers at Junior Lawyers’ Division (JLD) events. It has always been apparent that the firm distinguishes itself from the old-school, ‘stuffy’ approach that can sometime be associated with law firms. I recall much of my initial interview with Lauren Day and Victoria Riddleston, being spent laughing about the stresses of being a law student and discussing why we all had decided to relocated to Bournemouth. It was clear that the firm was very people-focused from the outset.
Seat One: Dispute Resolution
I started my training contract within the Dispute Resolution team in September 2020 – in the midst of the global pandemic. Whilst it was certainly challenging adapting to working from home, I never felt that my training was compromised. In fact, my confidence grew significantly whilst working from home and I was able to continue to take on more responsibility, with the opportunity to lead my own client meetings. It was evident that I was valued as a member of the team and trusted to organise my own time.
I wrote a blog on my average day in the Dispute Resolution team, which can be found here.
Seat Two: Wills, Trust and Probate
My second seat was with the Wills, Trust and Probate team in our Canford Cliffs office. This was a complete change for me in terms of the type of work, clients, and the way of working. I went from contentious work, primarily dealing with commercial clients, all from home – to dealing with individual clients, primarily from the office.
I worked directly with Carla Brown, who was a great supervisor and also a walking encyclopaedia of knowledge. Again, I was able to meet with clients alone and trusted to deal with high-net-worth individuals on a regular basis.
Seat Three: Commercial Property
I started my third and final seat in Commercial Property in September 2021. Having spent the majority of my time within the Dispute Resolution team (both as a Paralegal and a Trainee) dealing with property litigation, I felt comfortable from the outset drafting and negotiating on Leases, transfers, refinances, etc.
I worked directly under Matthew Clake in the Ringwood Office. Matthew always gave me a long-leash which enabled me to find my feet quickly within his team. Whilst being able to run my own files, Matthew was always on hand to answer all of my (many) questions – no matter how stupid they felt at the time.
I qualified into the Dispute Resolution team on 01 April 2022. As I was sure where I wanted to ultimately qualify from the outset, in addition to having the Paralegal experience under my belt, the firm allowed me to take time to count and qualify 6 months early. I know a lot of local firms did not allow Trainees to take time to count if they had completed part of their training contract from home; however, Ellis Jones has always tailored its approach to the individual and I was lucky that the pandemic did not dictate my path to qualification.
Having now been qualified for just over a month, it is clear that the firm’s support does not end the day you qualify. I have continued to have huge amounts of support from my team and the firm generally and I have been surprised by how prepared I have felt now that I am a solicitor – a testament to the training and support that Ellis Jones have provided over the last 3 years.
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