Past Training Contract Case Studies

Past Training Contract Case Studies

People’s Profiles 

Prospective trainees are also invited to look at the profiles of other members of the firm who have trained and then qualified to work in the firm.

We also run a training program for trainee Legal Executives.

Jennifer Allen - Director

Jennifer Allen joined the firm as a trainee in March 2006. She completed her training contract in 2008. Jennifer became a fully qualified solicitor running her own caseload upon qualification and was promoted to an Associate Solicitor in September 2011. Two years later, Jennifer was invited to be a Director of the firm and enjoys a career practising in family law.
Jennifer is now the Director with responsibility for trainees and overseeing each training contract from start to qualification.  
Marcus Crawley

Meet one of our solicitors who was a trainee at Hughes Paddison, Marcus Crawley Marcus joined the firm in 2013 and qualified into the Family Department on completing his training contract.

Q: Why did you decide to choose a career in the law?

A: My older brother trained as a barrister before cross qualifying as a solicitor. When I was in school, he would visit home and tell us about the sorts of interesting cases that he had been working on and stories about some of his Court experiences. I think that those stories planted the seed that a career in law might be for me. 

Having decided that I would like to explore a career in law, I organised a number of work experience placements, during which I was able to get a taste for both office life and Court work. Seeing the breadth of cases that you get to experience as a lawyer helped to reassure me that becoming a solicitor was what I wanted to do.  

Q: Why did you apply to Hughes Paddison?

A: After completing my LPC, I applied for a variety of different jobs and was able to secure three offers for training contracts at different firms around the country. One of the offers was to work as a Prison Law paralegal in a firm in Cheltenham, with a view to commencing my training contract within a year. As the Prison Law role involved running my own case load and carrying out advocacy at Parole hearings, I decided that of the three jobs I had been offered, it would give me the best experience in starting my career in law. 

Having experienced Prison Law for a year, I decided that I did not wish to pursue a career in Criminal Law. Whilst I had gained valuable experience in my previous firm, I then knew that I wished to instead qualify into Family Law. As such, I began to look elsewhere for a training contract. Hughes Paddison is a leading firm within Cheltenham and so, when I saw them advertising for trainees, I jumped at the chance to submit an application. The seats advertised seemed ideal for gaining experience to commence my career as a family lawyer.  

Q: Describe your experience as a trainee at Hughes Paddison:

A: I had a wonderful time as a trainee at Hughes Paddison. Before starting my training contract, I briefly worked as a paralegal in our Litigation Department. I was then able to have seats in Family, Residential Property, Commercial Property and Private Client. Having such a broad and interesting range of training seats has allowed me to expand my knowledge base and gain experience in a number of areas of law that are relevant to my work as a family lawyer. 

The trainees at Hughes Paddison have traditionally led the Cheltenham Junior Lawyers Division and so I have been able to get to know trainees from other firms in the area. 

Hughes Paddison has the feel of a family firm. From the moment of my first interview with two of the firm’s Directors, I have felt welcomed, accepted and part of the family. It is a firm that values individuality and helps foster a supportive and friendly environment. 

Q: How did you choose the area you wished to qualify into?

A: I have always been fascinated by people. As such, when I chose my options at university, I was able to tailor my degree towards Family Law. The privilege of being a Family solicitor is that you are able to see a snapshot of how different people organise their lives. No two cases are the same and so there is always something new to make the job interesting. 

Q: How is life as a qualified solicitor? 

A: I am thoroughly enjoying it. I feel lucky to have found a career that challenges me each day and allows me to see such a varied amount of work. Working at Hughes Paddison continues to be a pleasure and I am looking forward to a long and varied career with the firm.

Paul Harris

Meet one of our solicitors who was a trainee at Hughes Paddison, Paul Harris. Paul joined Hughes Paddison in 2015 and qualified in December 2017. 

Q: Why did you decide to choose a career in the law?

A: During my GCSEs and A-levels my strongest subjects were History, English Literature and Philosophy. Whilst I enjoyed these, I wanted to study something at university where I could apply skills from those areas to a degree that would enable me to graduate and be employable without having to do another degree. I was slightly naïve!

Q: Why did you apply to Hughes Paddison?

A: Following graduation in my undergraduate law degree and completion of the LPC I began looking at firms within a relatively close proximity of where I grew up. Hughes Paddison was a firm that stood out as a medium sized, full service, ‘high street’ practice. I had actually started working in a small niche firm in Herefordshire that focused predominantly on Private Client law within a few months of completing the LPC. Fairly shortly after starting my first legal job I was offered the chance to interview at Hughes Paddison. The rest is history.

Q: Describe your experience as a trainee at Hughes Paddison:

A: A learning curve. I started as a fresh faced 22 year old who had no real experience or knowledge of family law, litigation or commercial property law and finished as a slightly less fresh faced 24 year old with experience of all three areas and some knowledge of commercial property (the area I now specialise in)! Joking aside, I did learn a lot in all three areas, mainly through being given ‘hands on’ experience and assisting senior fee earners with their workload.
Having a sense of humour makes life a lot easier and being in a workplace that values a sense of humour is incredibly important. From my first interview with Hughes Paddison it was apparent that this would be a firm that I would feel comfortable in and would encourage and support my development from a trainee solicitor to a newly qualified solicitor and beyond.

Q: How did you choose the area you wished to qualify into?

A: Commercial property had been an area of law that had appealed to me since degree and LPC level. I had particularly enjoyed contract law at University, many aspects of which are directly applicable to commercial property- an area I studied on the LPC. Before I started my training contract I had decided that commercial property was the area that I would most likely want to specialise in, despite having not really had any experience in it up until that point. Needless to say it came as a pleasant surprise when I found out that, once I started my commercial property seat, I actually quite enjoyed the work! There is nothing more rewarding in my line of work than being able to help facilitate the smooth completion of a transaction or being able to solve a particularly tricky problem.

Q: How is life as a qualified solicitor? 

A: Busy, but rewarding. Managing my own caseload and looking after my own clients means that there is rarely a dull moment. Each transaction has its own unique sense of circumstances and challenges. Generally speaking, on a property transaction everyone is working towards the same goal and has the same objectives in mind. Being able to manage expectations and facilitate results is extremely satisfying.

Leah Vincent

Meet one of our Solicitors who was a Trainee Solicitor at Hughes Paddison, Leah Vincent. Leah joined Hughes Paddison in 2018 and qualified in October 2020.

Q. Why did you decide to choose a career in law

A. Since I was 16, I have shown a consistent interest in a legal career. My interest began when I completed a career quiz at school. This suggested I would be suited to working in law. Following this result, I obtained a work placement at a local firm and discovered that not only did I find the experience interesting, but a career in law would play to my strengths and attributes. I then applied to do an LLB Law degree, continued to obtain legal work experience wherever possible and by the time I graduated, my decision was made that law was the career path for me.

Q. Why did you apply to Hughes Paddison?

A. Applying to Hughes Paddison appealed to me as the ideal setting to complete my training contract for various reasons. I wanted to complete my training contract in a local firm and Hughes Paddison is a leading firm in Cheltenham, so this certainly ticked a box for me. After completing the LPC, I wasn’t yet confident in the area of law I wanted to qualify into. But I was confident that the seats offered at Hughes Paddison would provide me with a well-rounded experience of legal practice in order to make this decision. What also appealed to me is that Hughes Paddison made clear from the start that the firm invests in its trainees and are committed to actively encouraging opportunities to develop professionally. I also admired that Hughes Paddison respects individuality and recognises that talents and personalities are unique to each person. 

Q. Describe your experience as a trainee at Hughes Paddison:

A. Being a trainee at Hughes Paddison not only makes you feel like an integral part of the firm, but also part of a family. Hughes Paddison is passionate about supporting the development of its trainees. The firm operates a dual appraisal system for each seat, so you have the opportunity to receive one-on-one feedback and be able to action and develop this feedback before each seat ends, so that you can make the most of your training contract. I have completed seats in a variety of areas, being Private Client, Commercial Property and Litigation. Working as a trainee at Hughes Paddison has provided me with the broad and valuable experience that I wanted to enable me to choose where to qualify. Most importantly, as a trainee you feel invested in and I have been able to play a crucial role in the progress of matters, whilst working in a comfortable, encouraging and supportive environment. 

Emma O'Brien

Meet one of our lawyers who was a Trainee Solicitor at Hughes Paddison, Emma O'Brien. Emma joined Hughes Paddison in April 2019 and qualified in April 2021. 

Q. Why did you decide to choose a career in law

A. I have always enjoyed a high level of client engagement, analysing complex documents and managing a case holding. I studied law at university and always knew I wanted to qualify into the legal profession. I went a slightly longer way about it as I gained 7 years legal/regulatory work experience and studied the LPC part-time. Having transferrable skills has provided me with a grounding for training as a solicitor.

Q. Why did you apply to Hughes Paddison?

A. I was naturally cautious about making the jump to train as a solicitor, having worked in my previous employment for a long time. I knew I wanted to be at a modern and personable firm that would support me to develop my skills. Hughes Paddison ticked my boxes and from the day I attended for my first interview I knew it was somewhere I could be happy. 

Q. Describe your experience so far as a trainee at Hughes Paddison:

A. I definitely feel that the firm have invested in me. The training is ensuring that I am getting well rounded experience in each seat. Every time I move seats, I am developing on the skills I gained in the last. 

Amy McCormick

Meet one of our lawyers who is a Trainee Solicitor currently working in the Family Department, Amy McCormick. Amy joined Hughes Paddison in October 2019. 

Q. Why did you decide to choose a career in law?

A. I decided to study Law at university because I enjoyed problem-solving. I liked the idea of researching a client’s query and providing them with multiple options. I also thought that a career in law would be good for a young woman. The number of female trainees now resembles the actual number of women entering law school. After completing various internships, I knew that I had a real passion for the law and as Elle Woods once said, “passion is the key ingredient to the study and practice of law, and of life.”

Q. Why did you apply to Hughes Paddison?

A. After studying the Legal Practice Course, I started researching firms in my local area as it was highly important that I secured a training contract at a firm near my family and friends. I was extremely impressed by Hughes Paddison due to its continuing growth through involvement in High Court cases and its commercial offering to clients. 

Hughes Paddison also offers a range of practice areas, this was attractive to me as when I finished the Legal Practice Course, I was unsure of which area of law I was most interested in. I had also seen from previous training contract case studies that the culture at Hughes Paddison had been described as having the ‘feel of a family firm’, something that I can now confirm myself. 

Q. Describe your experience so far as a trainee at Hughes Paddison.

A. As a trainee at Hughes Paddison you will not spend your time photocopying and filing papers, the firm adopts a training-focused approach and I have found that I have been highly involved in cases, providing me with a valuable experience. 

The working environment has been extremely supportive, and all members of staff are happy to answer questions and offer their advice. From my very first interview at Hughes Paddison, I have felt welcomed and included.