Soon after I finished my first year at university I contacted Woodfines Milton Keynes asking if it would be possible to spend time at the firm on work experience. The team were very accommodating and made provision for me to spend a period of three days at the firm during my summer break.
The Milton Keynes office has a productive and welcoming atmosphere which is noticeable immediately. Various members of staff, working in different positions, took the time to explain what their jobs entailed on a practical level and why they had taken their respective paths. I found this incredibly helpful in aiding my personal decision making process.
I spent my first day in the criminal department and was made to feel very useful. I was given tasks relevant to ongoing cases, which was a new experience having predominantly engaged with the law academically. At University the cases we analyse are settled, and so thinking about how a case was being shaped was enjoyable. My tasks involved researching situations and precedents that may be persuasive, and applying them to real life facts. I was also able to sit in a meeting with a client, which gave invaluable insight into the workings of a firm.
On the second day I was accompanied to the local Magistrates’ court. Time was taken to explain the process, discuss key points of law, and consider variables affecting sentencing. This allowed me not only to apply the knowledge from my studies, but to expand on it. We considered what mitigating factors may affect sentencing and observed how the Magistrates balanced the relevant information. In the latter part of the day I had the opportunity to prepare some potential questions for a witness. This I found to be mentally stimulating and was my favourite task.
My final day was spent in the Commercial department, analysing the outline for a partnership agreement. From here I had the opportunity to point out any potential questions or issues that could arise to given facts. Again this was relevant to an ongoing situation which I found to be intriguing. This task was different to what I had experienced in the two days prior and required a slightly different approach. I am grateful that the firm allowed me to experience distinct areas of law to allow for a rounded experience.
What I found incredibly kind and useful was that every person I worked with took the time to read over or talk through the tasks I carried out. We discussed thought processes and potential arguments. This was above and beyond and is demonstrative of the caring and proactive nature of the office.
I am very grateful for my time there.