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January 7, 2022

Can you give us a quick introduction?

“I’m a third seat trainee in the Guildford office currently sat in the Employment team. I studied European Legal Studies at the University of Kent and then went on to study the LPC at the University of Law. I applied via the vacation scheme in the Guildford office and then started my training contract in 2020.”

What attracted you to a career in law?

“I’ve always had an interest in people so the prospect of working in the legal sector (an area which impacts so much of our daily lives) really appealed to me. I also wanted a job where I knew I’d be challenged and engaged throughout my career. The legal profession is constantly evolving, making it a challenging but dynamic and exciting career.”

Why did you choose to apply to Charles Russell Speechlys?

“Charles Russell Speechlys is known for its friendly and ‘human’ culture, which really stood out to me when applying for firms. This, coupled with the firm’s full service offering and good quality work, made Charles Russell Speechlys an obvious choice for me.

I decided to apply for the Guildford office because I wanted to work in a smaller office with a regional feel, whilst still gaining exposure to interesting clients and high-quality training.”

What work have you been involved with so far?

“Whilst in my Employment seat, I’ve been exposed to a variety of different work. I’ve been involved in a broad range of advisory work, such as drafting contracts of employment and workplace policies, as well as contentious work involving employment disputes and settlements.

One of my key highlights from this seat has been assisting with a settlement for an employee client. This required a lot of negotiation with ‘the other side’ and we were ultimately able to reach settlement terms that our client was happy with. Helping to get the settlement agreed and finalised for our client was an extremely rewarding experience.”

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What is your career highlight so far?

“A key highlight so far would be during my first seat where I assisted with an urgent application to extend the administration of a company. This involved assisting with the preparation of the application and accompanying evidence, which we then lodged with the Court to be heard the following day. Whilst the time pressures were challenging, it was great to be a part of the team pulling everything together in time.”

How much responsibility have you been given?

“The training contract is structured in a way which allows you to have a fair level of responsibility over matters, whilst still being supported by the fee earners. This has meant that I’ve frequently liaised directly with clients and have been able to run a few matters with the supervision of a fee earner.”

What kind of support have you received from your team?

“My team has been a massive support to me throughout my time in my current seat, and my previous ones. Everyone has been great at giving me constructive feedback and taking the time to tell me what I did well and what, if any, amendments were made to my work.

The team has also been sensitive about asking whether I have capacity to take on more work and I have felt comfortable raising any issues with the timescale, for example, due to competing deadlines.”

What else have you been involved in, outside the day-to-day work?

“I have been involved in a number of diversity and inclusion initiatives, including volunteering for the firm’s Career Start work experience events and attending both the Black History Month and National Inclusion Week events. A particularly insightful seminar was a Panel Event held during Black History Month which focused on the importance of allyship in the workplace.

Up until recently, I was also one of the Guildford community investment trainee representatives, responsible for assisting with the organisation of various fundraising events at the office. This was an extremely fulfilling experience as it allowed me to actively support and contribute towards the firm’s chosen charities and gave me the opportunity to network with different people across the office, including those I may not have worked with otherwise.”

To find out more about training with Charles Russell Speechlys, visit their website.

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