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Ashfords LLP

Employee profile

Hannah Pettit

How you got the job / why Ashfords 

I chose to apply to Ashfords because of its reputation as a national law firm, with a growing presence in the Bristol market. 

In July 2015 I attended an assessment day at the firm's Bristol office. After just one day at the firm I gained a good insight into the ethos and the type of people that I would be working with if I was successful. Everyone was friendly, approachable and down to earth. This is still one of my favourite things about the firm: the people. 

Two years later, in September 2017, I started my training contract.

What your role involves: Typical activities and key responsibilities

I am currently in my third seat in the Employment department, having completed my first seat in the Corporate team and my second in the Commercial team. I have been exposed to a good range of work, both contentious and non-contentious. At the moment my typical day involves assessing the prospects of successfully bringing new claims, drafting witness statements, drafting employee facing policies and liaising directly with clients to update them on the progress of their matters. Throughout all of my training contract I have received a good level of client exposure. 

Highlights of the work you've done / Your experience as a trainee so far

One of the most rewarding projects I have been involved in to date has been a largescale GDPR compliance project, for a corporate group which has a presence in several key industries. The timing of my Commercial seat meant that I was able to see the project through from an initial consultation call, to completion. I adopted a project management role, as well as drafting and finalising many of the required agreements and policies. It was really satisfying seeing everything come together.

At Ashfords trainees are also encouraged to get involved with as many activities and events as possible. Looking back at my training contract so far some of the highlights have been entering a firm team into RSM Charity Netball Tournament, organising the Bristol office Christmas quiz, representing the firm at a client reception on the launch night of the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival (which was sponsored by Ashfords) and attending the Bristol Junior Lawyer Division annual fundraiser ball.

What you enjoy about being a Trainee Solicitor?

What I enjoy the most about life as a trainee solicitor is that no day is ever the same. I am always challenged and learning new things. I think that is what drew me to the legal profession; the prospect of a career that will require me to continually adapt and evolve. 

Any challenges you've faced / how you have overcome any difficult situations 
It is hard to give isolated examples of challenges I have faced, because the nature of being a trainee is that tasks and situations are often challenging - it is how we develop. 

However, one initial challenge that I faced was starting a career at a professional firm straight from university. To begin with I was conscious that I had less life experience than my colleagues, and no paralegal experience. But it didn't take me long to feel settled within my new working environment.