Education: University of Manchester (Law), University of Law (LPC)
Department: Real Estate
I initially applied for Shoosmiths' vacation scheme in my second year of university but was unsuccessful - and understandably when I read my application a year later as it was very generic. When I applied for a second time, I researched the firm in a lot more detail by attending law fairs and speaking to Shoosmiths solicitors. I believe these personal insights helped me to stand out from other candidates because I could discuss information which was not available online.
During my vacation scheme, I was given all the responsibilities of a trainee and was later invited to the assessment centre. This involved a written exercise, a group exercise and an interview with a presentation. The whole process was very organised and I was made to feel at ease instantly.
Fast-forward a year and I am currently in my first seat in the Real Estate department. I have joined the firm at a very exciting time because the Manchester office has recently moved location and embraced agile working - it is worth attending an insight evening just to see our new work space! In terms of work, I have already been given my own matters to run. Although initially daunting, I have been provided with plenty of support and now feel confident in leading small transactions despite only being here for two months. My biggest highlight has been working on the largest commercial property deal recorded in the North West. Whilst this did involve a few late nights, I could not have asked for more levels of support or client exposure.
Outside of law, the trainees are encouraged to get involved in plenty of activities. I have just organised a Spooksmiths bake sale for Halloween and I am now in the process of organising a department night out for the Real Estate team. The trainees have also been tasked with helping the firm to engage with the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals through the provision of pro-bono work as part of our trainee challenge.
I was initially apprehensive about starting my training contract because I did not have any paralegal experience nor had I spent much time working in an office environment. However, I need not have worried. My first few months with Shoosmiths have exceeded my expectations and I cannot wait to see what the rest of my training contract brings.