Name: Caroline Parks
University and degree subject: University of Manchester, BA Geography.
Job title: Real Estate Team, Eversheds
Why did you decide upon a career in law?
I felt that my key skills were suited to a career in law as I am organised, hard working, driven and pro-active. I enjoy being challenged and I want to have a profession but also be part of an active, thriving business. I also thought that the opportunities to push myself within law were limitless. The career also appealed to me as it is orientated around the business world and the economic climate and I really wanted to be involved in this kind of environment.
What did the application process involve?
Following an online application to my firm, I then had an initial interview in the second year of my geography degree to gain a place on the vacation scheme that was being held during the summer. Having been successful with this and being granted a place on the vacation scheme, I spent two weeks at Eversheds, the first week based in the corporate team and the second in property.
This two-week process was very useful as it gave me a real feel for the type of firm that Eversheds was and also an insight into my career potential. During the two weeks we undertook a negotiation exercise, a pitch, mock court room scenarios cross examining a witness, networking with lawyers within the firm and also gaining hands on experience within the departments.
Following these two weeks I was then invited to Eversheds in September to formally be offered my position as a trainee. This was a key moment in my career and I vividly remember being handed a glass of champagne and a contract and not looking back from then on. The next three years involved Christmas and summer socials and keeping in touch with the firm in preparation for my training contact that was to begin three years later.
What type of work are you doing in your current seat?
I am currently based in the Real Estate Development Team in the Manchester office. I am involved in large-scale developments across the country in residential, commercial, public and private sectors. I have been lucky enough to draft various key documents, participate in client meetings, learn about pitches, manage my own files and also be involved in the marketing and networking side of the team. The firm has given me the responsibility to drive matters forward, but has also given me the supervision and motivation necessary stop me feeling out of my depth.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Life as a trainee solicitor is definitely not dull! Every day presents new challenges and the learning curve throughout your training contract is very steep. Meeting the clients and seeing the whole picture from start to finish is very rewarding and the market awareness and general business acumen you obtain is very useful.
What would be your best piece of advice for graduates considering a career in law?
Primarily I would say "think ahead and be one step ahead of the game. I managed to secure my job three years in advance and in doing so received very generous financial maintenance from Eversheds and the firm also paid all the fees for my two legal courses. Generally all the larger firms will be recruiting two years in advance. In addition to this be prepared to work hard as the competition for the jobs is steep and the pressure once you get there doesn’t stop!