Degree: Law, 2.1, Open University
LPC: College of Law, Guildford
Firm: Hodge, Jones & Allen
Why did you decide upon a career in law?
I started off as a qualified nurse, and did that for 14 years. Towards the end of my time in nursing I fancied doing something different. I studied A-level law, and really loved that, so I thought I’d like to pursue it as a career.
What did the application process involve?
I was working here already as a paralegal. When I applied it was only an in-house opportunity. I was taking the place of a trainee who was on maternity leave. I completed a straightforward online application form, and then had an interview with the partners.
What type of work are you doing in your current seat?
I have my own caseload, which predominantly will go to tribunal. My clients are those sectioned under the Mental Health Act. I go and see them to find out if they want to appeal, and if so have representation at tribunal. My supervisor does a lot of judicial review. I don’t have these types of cases, but I learn about them.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I like having my own caseload, and having lots of client interaction. In the mental health seat, I like the fact you can help people. At Hodge, Jones & Allen there are lots of interesting areas of law. The training contract isn’t one where you spend your days at a photocopier – we have a good support team to do that. You get to do hands-on work.
What do you like least?
Sometimes clients have unreasonable expectations of what a solicitor can actually do for them. Plus there is the pressure to time-record constantly. You have to justify every minute of your day.
What advice do you have for readers?
My experience is one of a mature student. I would say: play to your strengths, from your past experience. Target firms with practice areas that would benefit from your experience. Also, get some legal work experience. This type of firm especially values work experience.