Past Training Contract Case Studies

Past Training Contract Case Studies

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.  
 
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 which include, Tom Airey, Marcus Crawley, Paul Harris and Nadia Santry.

We also run a training program for trainee Legal Executives.

Meet our most recently qualified former trainee, Tom Airey
 

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

A: I came to Law somewhat indirectly, having chosen Philosophy as my undergraduate degree. I knew from an early stage that I was interested in discourse and I found it enormously satisfying to research and argue my point of view in a stimulating debate. Through a summer vacation scheme and several shorter work experience placements with firms in London, I could see that a career in the law would stimulate my interest and suit the skills that I had developed up to that point. 

Q: Why did you apply to Hughes Paddison?

A: Having worked in London, I was keen to pursue a training contract at a regional firm knowing that a more familial atmosphere with colleagues and clients would suit me best. After completing the LPC, I was not yet set upon one area of the law that I wished to make a career out of but I knew that the seats offered by Hughes Paddison would provide me with a rounded experience of legal practise in areas that I had already found a passion for. 

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

A: As a trainee at Hughes Paddison, you are afforded the opportunity to play a crucial role in the progress of a matter whilst being provided with the proper support and guidance. Every seat of my training gave me valuable experience and helped me to develop my understanding of legal process. 

Hughes Paddison provide an atmosphere for trainees where you are rewarded for your curiosity and individual thinking. 

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

A: Whilst studying on the LPC, I chose to focus my electives around Private Client and Family work as these both stood out to me and I knew that I would thrive doing client-facing work.  

Q: How is life as a qualified solicitor? 

A: I have qualified into the family department and directly assist David Sterrett on his cases, as well as taking on my own clients.  

Meet one of our solicitors who was a trainee at Hughes Paddison, Marcus Crawley

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.

Meet one of our solicitors who was a trainee at Hughes Paddison, Paul Harris


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.

Meet our trainee, Rosalin Gautam


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

A: I decided to pursue a career in law when I was 11 years old, and never changed my mind! Law is an area which is always subject to change and it is so interesting to see it develop. A career in law means that you have the opportunity to explore different industries, which allows you to continue learning throughout your career, and I enjoy that.   

Q: Why did you apply to Hughes Paddison?

A: After I finished my LPC, I worked as a paralegal in a few firms in London. Whilst the experience was great, I felt as though I wanted to train in a firm where I would get more hands on experience. During the interview process at Hughes Paddison, I was drawn to the fact that the firm tried their best to have one trainee per department. This was particularly important in my decision, as it confirmed to me that I would be able to get the hands on experience that I wanted. 

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

A: I have found Hughes Paddison to be a very warm, friendly firm. I like that I am able to speak to any member of staff regardless of their job title. I feel like all of the directors take a genuine interest in developing me to become a future solicitor. 

I am always encouraged to be proactive, and to challenge myself. I work directly with the directors and the senior associates on matters, and therefore receive interesting, but also challenging work which always follows with feedback on what I did well, and what I can improve on. 

Q: When you qualify, what would you like to qualify into? 

A: I was asked in my first seat which areas I wanted to focus my training on, and have been accommodated according to my preferences. I am interested in the commercial side of law, and so far Corporate and Litigation have both sparked my interest.   

Q: What advice do you have for prospective trainee candidates?  

A: My main advice for prospective trainee candidates is to be positive, work hard and ask many questions. Every trainee will ultimately end up in a seat which they may find challenging, but you should be able to take something away from each seat, even if you find that area of law is not for you. 

Finally, enjoy your training contract. It may be hard work at times, but it is an amazing experience!