Trainee Solicitor, James Campbell, talks about his first year of training at Furley Page

James Campbell

Trainee Solicitor

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April 25, 2023

Categories Graduate recruitment

What made you decide Furley Page was the best place to pursue your training?

Growing up in Kent, Furley Page have always had an outstanding reputation, not only for the services provided, but also for the close-knit community within the firm. As a trainee, I wanted to be immersed in the legal industry but also have a strong rapport with colleagues, and from my research, it was clear that Furley Page would provide this.

Furthermore, Furley Page entrusts their trainees with a high level or responsibility, allowing for them to develop and establish their own ways of working, whilst learning from others who are respected in the industry. This ability to work closely with so many talented solicitors really appealed to me.

What has been your overriding impression so far of the training programme at Furley Page?

The training programme has exceeded all my expectations. From the very start I have experienced client interaction, been given high levels of responsibility, and most notable of all, had all the support that a trainee requires. This has been one thing that has stood out, everyone at the firm is willing to offer their hand, really highlighting the sense of community within the firm.

What has also stood out, is the levels of work given to a trainee. The work requires concentration, consideration, and it is challenging, however, it is this experience that develops you as a trainee.

What has been your best experience during your training programme?

My first seat was Private Client, however, often, trainees are required to help in other departments when needed. I was asked to attend Canterbury Magistrates Court on behalf of the Family Team, to attend a Hearing alongside a barrister. This was an excellent opportunity to have face-to-face contact with a client in a tense environment, as well as an opportunity to listen to the barrister’s expert opinion. I was also asked to attend the second Hearing, which occurred via an online portal, with the supervising solicitor attending too.

These were both fantastic experiences, and I was able to offer my opinions to the barrister and solicitor involved, allowing me to improve and expand my knowledge in a complex area of law.

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

There are a multitude of skills that are essential to be a successful lawyer. I think the ones that are needed on a day-to-day basis are:

1. Communication. You are bound to speak with individuals from different backgrounds and need to learn how to adapt your conversation to suit them.
2. Time-keeping, organisation and concentration. This goes without saying, but to be a successful lawyer you need to be able to keep to strict deadlines, and need a strong focus on the work you are doing.
3. Perseverance. The route to being a lawyer is long, complex and there are many hurdles to jump to get there. You need to have strong self-confidence and a real belief that you are going to be successful in a challenging industry.

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

My main piece of advice is to gain valuable employment experience. This does not always have to be within the legal industry; however, this would certainly help. These experiences build you as a person and allow you to learn new skills that you can highlight in your Training Contract application. One further piece of advice is to highlight your personality in your application. Show why you would be a good fit for the firm, and how the skillset you have established would be invaluable to the firm.


Find out more about becoming a Trainee Solicitor with Furley Page >>