What attracted you to the legal profession?
The legal profession is as rewarding as it is challenging. I have always felt drawn to a problem-solving environment, especially one which involves collaboration. I am very much a people person and enjoy finding solutions for others, which is why I felt a career in law would suit me well.
No two days are the same and you will need to think on your feet, but working in such a dynamic environment keeps you energized and inspired.
The great thing about a career in law is that there will always be a team of people around you who are striving to achieve the same goal, that being great results for clients. It’s that collaboration combined with the client-facing aspect of the role that attracted me to the profession.
Why did you chose Furley Page to undertake your training contract?
As someone who has lived in Kent all my life, I knew from the outset of this career pursuit that I wanted to be a part of a long-established firm with a strong reputation in the local area.
Furley Page stood out from the rest as a firm that successfully combines being wonderfully traditional and client-centric, yet modern and forward thinking; giving it a competitive place in the market.
I undertook a work placement here in my first year of University and meeting the great teams that make up Furley Page and getting an insight into the high-calibre work they do confirmed it was the firm I wanted to be a part of.
Your second year of training has been very different to your first year. What did Furley Page put in place to ensure you continued to receive a high standard of training and support?
This last year has been unique for everyone. I think this is especially true for those undertaking any form of training, since Covid restrictions have made shadowing and learning from others in that way, more difficult.
Whilst my training over the last year has taken a slightly different form, Furley Page has put in place a great system of support for those working remotely and I have learnt a huge amount from my desk at home.
I am very grateful for platforms like Microsoft Teams and Zoom which have allowed us to stay connected as a team and regularly discuss the matters we are working on. Someone in the team is always on the end of the phone if I have a question and, with restrictions now starting to ease, a coffee during lunch with a colleague has been such a treat!
What seats have you been in and has there been any which challenged your perception of that area of law?
I have completed seats in both Commercial Property and Dispute Resolution.
During my Commercial Property seat, I had the opportunity to get involved in work such as drafting leases, licences and other contracts. What I found surprising was how much you engage your negotiation skills in transactional work, liaising between the parties to put in place the right protections for your client, pre-empting potential problems.
It is not just a case of standardised drafting, everything is tailored; it was a great introduction to legal practice.
I am coming to the end of my double seat in Dispute Resolution, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Contentious practice really engages those problem-solving skills, the goal being to deliver tailored solutions for your client where a dispute has arisen.
I have been surprised at the variety of forms those solutions may take. Dispute resolution does not always mean court proceedings. Sometimes writing a strongly worded letter puts the matter to bed and other times, protracted negotiations and/or court action, is necessary. The key thing is being able to adapt to the approach the client wants to take whilst also advising on both the risks and benefits involved in taking those different routes.
Reflecting back on your training so far, to what extent has the reality of training in a legal firm lived up to your expectations?
Going into my training contract, I hoped that it would be challenging, exciting and fulfilling, and it really has lived up to those expectations.
You are trusted and given a lot of responsibility as a trainee, which encourages you to learn and develop quickly; and your contribution to matters is valued.
Of course, due to the lockdown there have been some challenges that I did not foresee. I think we are all missing the social elements of working life. However, despite the circumstances, everyone has worked really hard to maintain that team connection and engagement with their clients. I’ve had great support from everyone and have really found my flow.
The deadline for our 2023 trainee solicitors programme is Fri 2 July 2021.