The wait is finally over as three of us began our training contracts at Woodfines on 5th September 2016. With all the studying and revising somewhat behind us it is nice to feel as though we are entering the ‘real world’, although I have no doubt that there is a lot of hard work now ahead of us.
I am from Bedford originally and did work experience in the firm’s Family department in Milton Keynes in 2012. This is when, despite studying Human Geography at Leeds University, I realised I had a passion for law. Having completed my degree in Geography, I returned to Woodfines as a float legal secretary. This was a fantastic opportunity as I worked in various departments across the firm, encountering many areas of law whilst getting to know lots of clients and colleagues. I then went travelling for eight months to South East Asia and worked at a law firm in Sydney, Australia. Following my return I went back to Leeds to study the Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) and after this, the Legal Practice Course (LPC) at the University of Law.
Having just completed three days of induction the trainees have visited all four offices, allowing us to meet everyone and have an opportunity to ask numerous questions to different people across the firm. What has stood out to me is the number of solicitors, senior associates and Partners who completed their Training Contracts (or the former equivalent) with Woodfines. This demonstrates Woodfines’ commitment to trainees and its aim to provide high quality training so that trainees remain with the firm post-qualification and can work up to Partner level. Everyone has been very welcoming, approachable and helpful. We have been treated to lunch or breakfast at each office and consequently I certainly need to go to the gym soon!
My first seat is in the Commercial Property department in Sandy. Although I have studied some commercial property on the LPC, Woodfines are specialists in agricultural commercial property of which I have no knowledge whatsoever – I may even need to buy some wellies for client visits! I am therefore looking forward to gaining an insight into agricultural commercial property alongside other aspects of commercial property.
For now, I must admit that although I am looking forward to getting stuck in, I am also slightly apprehensive about starting my first seat. However, after the induction I feel prepared and reassured that there is a good network of support and guidance around me to help along the way.