On Monday 15th June we celebrated 800 years of the Magna Carta, a document which even after so many years holds a central role in our legal system. I was lucky enough to meet with a Texan judge in London who had travelled all the way to the UK for the celebrations. He told me how important this largely forgotten item of English law is to him and Americans. This is why it was with great pleasure that Christopher Northway and I visited a local school to teach a history class on that very subject on behalf of Woodfines.
This is just one of the many examples of ‘extra curricular’ activities trainees are invited to get involved in and certainly a benefit of training at a regional firm that has strong roots within the local community it serves.
You may have to work late to prepare the slides or read up on a long forgotten point of law but having the opportunity to get out into the community and speak to its various members is a positive part of training with Woodfines.
Since starting my training contract with Woodfines I have provided careers advice, on getting a training contract and starting out in law, at schools and universities, given talks on historical events over 800 years old and appeared in school videos on websites and youtube.
You may think "if I’d wanted to teach I would have become a teacher" or to give advice on how to become a lawyer I could have worked for a recruitment firm but the above experiences have taught me some essential skills and made some excellent contacts.
Being able to speak to people you have only just met in a confident and advisory manner is a very important part of being a solicitor and many of the above activities enable you to develop as a practitioner. In addition, being able to explain complex information in a way that is easy for your audience to understand without talking over their heads or, just as importantly, down to them is a difficult skill to master and having the opportunity to speak to different age groups gives you a real opportunity to expand upon this skill.
Finally one of the most important things relating to these activities is that Woodfines is allowing you to represent the firm to new and potential clients and contacts and giving you the responsibility to market the firm and be part of its success.
Training at Woodfines allows you to experience a wide number of activities in addition to the law and take an active part in marketing and placing the firm within the community.