I am a first year trainee solicitor in the firm’s Birmingham office. In my first year I will be working in areas involving terminal asbestos related illness, child abuse and clinical negligence.
I had always wanted to be a doctor until a fairly late realisation that I was terrible at chemistry. As a marginally wiser career choice, I studied English and History at undergraduate level followed by an LLM in Law, Medicine and Healthcare at the University of Liverpool.
Armed with an entirely basic knowledge of negligence, I committed to law and studied the GDL at the University of Law, Manchester. During my studies, I took the opportunity to volunteer for the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and the National Centre for Domestic Violence. Throughout my legal career, it has been the practical application of knowledge to benefit others that I have really enjoyed, and getting relevant experience is incredibly important both in knowing what you want to do and making you attractive to potential employers.
I started working for the firm’s Legal Helpline (LHL) in January 2014. The LHL was an incredible experience as you are exposed to a variety of different clients and provide general and preliminary legal advice on a huge variety of topics. One minute you could be advising on unfair dismissal, the next could be advising on a neighbour dispute; no day was the same.
I moved departments in April 2015 and began working as a paralegal in Clinical Negligence. I had a full caseload of my own clients and found the work incredibly rewarding and interesting. The clients are from all walks of life and it was satisfying to help them through challenging and traumatic periods.
I was successful in obtaining my Period of Recognised Training (PORT) in August 2015. The firm funded my LPC and I studied part-time at the University of Sheffield, whilst keeping my full-time role as a paralegal. This enabled me to practically apply what I was learning in the classroom but also gave me perspective about the bigger picture.
Charitable work and business development are also an incredibly important part of working at Irwin Mitchell. There are opportunities to get involved in a number of activities from building links with local organisations to charity skydives. My personal contribution was the dreaded Chatsworth 10K with a number of my much more athletic colleagues! Because of the environment we worked in, we all trained together after work and cheered each other on at the event.
The best part about working for Irwin Mitchell is the people. I am incredibly lucky to work with a number of talented, enthusiastic and knowledgeable individuals and have the opportunity to work on interesting and varied cases. I would recommend the firm to applicants who are looking for good quality work and who want to be part of a friendly yet formidable firm.