From Legal Secretary to Paralegal to Trainee Solicitor – another route into law
A trainee solicitor at Nottinghamshire law firm Rothera Sharp has spoken out about why she became a paralegal before applying for trainee solicitor roles.
Christina Peck said that working as a paralegal before applying for trainee solicitor roles cannot only assist in building up legal experience – but can ultimately help to securing a training contract by making a candidate stand out from the crowd.
“Qualifying as a solicitor has been an aspiration of mine for a very long time, but I also knew that I needed to work full-time to be able to support myself.
“I was lucky enough to secure a role as an office junior when I was 20 and from there on I worked my way up at Rothera Sharp through the roles of legal secretary, personal assistant, paralegal and now trainee solicitor.”
Applying for a training contract with a firm can be a challenging and worrying time, with many applicants finding themselves competing against numerous candidates for only a handful of positions, said Rothera Sharp.
Christina added that, combined with working full-time, she studied her law degree part-time and is now undertaking her Legal Practice Course (LPC) part-time.
“I won’t deny going down this route is hard – I also took on parental guardianship for a sibling and gave birth to my daughter during this time!
But it has enabled me to gain so many skills…from managing my time effectively, to staying organised.
“As a paralegal, I was given the opportunity at Rothera Sharp to run and build up my own caseload of files in residential conveyancing. This role had plenty of client contact and hands-on experience, which was something I really enjoyed as part of my role.
“I was also able to see the day-to-day life of a law firm and the routine of solicitors – all these experiences affirmed that this was the type of work I wanted to go into and pushed me to keep studying, especially on days when I was so tired!”
Christina say that she believes coming from a different route, being a mother, working full-time and studying part-time are all positives in showing a potential recruiter that you are able to manage your time effectively.
“I am also much older than the average trainee applicant and I am able to bring additional experiences with me, which I wouldn’t change at all!
“I also think the fact that Rothera Sharp welcomes candidates from all backgrounds really helps – it doesn’t matter what age you are or what career path you have taken – if you are the right candidate, you will be successful! It has also massively boosted my confidence being accepted onto the training contract to carry on advancing in my career with them.”
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