Trainee Solicitor Melanie Christodoulou advises graduates to: Prioritise, Plan and Prepare

Posted by Melanie Christodoulou


Q. Where and what did you study at university before you were accepted for a Training Contract with Furley Page?

I studied Law LLB at the University of Kent (Canterbury)

Q. What work had you done before you started your training, including work placements and voluntary work? Did your work experience prove useful?

Following my LPC, I worked for the American law firm White & Case as a Corporate Professional Support Legal Assistant for one year in central London.  Work placements include the following. Gaining experience from high-street, regional, national and international law firms allowed me to confirm the type of legal practice I wished to work for:

  • Weightmans
  • Brachers LLP
  • Hallett & Co
  • Shadbolt Law – now merged with Clyde & Co
  • Employment Relations Solicitors
  • Hyman & Co
  • Voluntary work: Cordomus Child Contact Centre and Barnardo’s

I completed a two-week work placement at a high-street firm in London when I was 15 and was employed by the firm during the summer holidays at the age of 16 and 17 in an admin role. From seeing how a lawyer would deal with the whole of a client’s issue/transaction, I decided that a regional law firm was best suited for the type of work I wished to conduct on a daily basis, where I would gain control of client files as opposed to dealing with a small element of a client’s matter, as well as obtaining client contact on a regular basis. Working on behalf of local clients was especially important to me, as it made me feel part of the community.

Q. When and why did you decide to become a trainee solicitor with Furley Page? What are you hoping to get out of your training and what appealed to you about the firm?

I was attracted to Furley Page due to its strong presence within the South-East, especially Canterbury. As I studied at university in Canterbury, I wished to work for a Canterbury based firm that had a long-established respected reputation.

In terms of what I hope to gain from my training contract, I wish to obtain great hands-on experience with clients and their issues, even thinking about “what would happen if the scenario was more complex and X happened” whilst under the supervision of the many talented lawyers within the firm, who can guide me through the processes involved for each seat I train in.

Q. How long have you been a trainee and what seats have you held?

I am currently working for the Dispute Resolutions Team, in my second training seat. I completed my first seat in Vulnerable Client.

Q. Has your training live up to your expectations? What have you enjoyed most about your training? What has surprised you about your time with Furley Page?

The training contract has lived up to my expectations, however the amount of responsibility is a true eye-opener! I have especially enjoyed getting to know clients and the friendly and approachable nature of the people that I work with.  This is especially important for me, especially as you are in the office five days a week!

Q. If you were to meet your younger self, what advice would you give about applying to becoming a trainee solicitor?

If I met myself again as a student, the advice I would give about applying to become a trainee solicitor is what I call the three P’s: Prioritise, Plan and Prepare.

Visit our Careers pages for information about our Undergraduate Work Placement scheme and applying to become a Trainee Solicitor with Furley Page.

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