Ellie Boreham, Trainee Solicitor, blogs about her second year of training with Furley Page

Posted by Ellie Boreham


What attracted you to the legal profession?

I recognised that through interpreting law effectively and having a good understanding of legal issues, which are constantly evolving, you can make a real commercial difference to clients, and this appealed to me as a rewarding concept and a good basis upon which to build a career.

How has your second year of training differed from the first year? 

My second year of training has been spent in our Dispute Resolution Team and Family Law Team. I have really enjoyed contentious work and the opportunity to experience litigation, which has given me insight into the huge amount of work that goes into each phase of a case, and other forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation and collaborative law.

What responsibilities have you had during your second year of training?

Responsibilities vary from seat to seat but throughout my training contract I have been given the opportunity to undertake important work for real clients, which I think is important in preparing you for the realities of legal practice.

During my second year of training, where appropriate, I have had conduct of my own files, attended hearings at court and, on one occasion, undertaken my own advocacy.

How does the level of support you've received in your second year differ from the support you received during your first year? Was the support you received sufficient?

During your second year you start to think about qualification and deciding which area of law you would like to qualify into. You are supported in making this decision by our Training Principal, George Crofton-Martin, your Trainee Mentor (mine is Rosie Eastwood) and other lawyers throughout the firm, many of who have been through the same process.

Which seats have you experienced during your time as a trainee at Furley Page?

Vulnerable Client, Residential Property, Dispute Resolution and Family Law.

Has this experience given you an interest in a particular specialism? If so which area of the law and why?

I have learnt that I really enjoy contentious work and therefore would like to specialise into Dispute Resolution.

What has been your best experience during your training programme?

I have had lots of good experiences!

In particular I’ve really enjoyed attending mediation, which often involves a lot of preparatory work and a long day, but in my experience proves rewarding, and the client is usually very happy with the outcome.

What skills do you think are essential to be a successful lawyer?

I think you need to be able to:

  • Think on your feet
  • Communicate well and listen to others
  • Trust your own judgement.

To what extent has the reality of training in a law firm lived up to your expectations?

There is an expectation that trainees will only ever undertake low level tasks with little to no support but this has not been my experience. I have really enjoyed my training contract and throughout my training have felt challenged, supported and trusted. I have grown in confidence, and am very excited about qualifying in September.

What advice would you give anybody looking to train as a solicitor?

I think it can seem overwhelming pursuing a career as a solicitor, particularly as obtaining a training contract is so competitive! However, I would advise anybody looking to train not to let this deter them from pursuing a legal career – stay true to your reasons for applying, have confidence in your ability, and obtain as much work experience as possible.

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