I was honoured when I found out I am this year’s recipient of the John Hooper & Co prize at the University of Nottingham School of Law. The award was not only a financial recognition for my academic efforts but also a brilliant opportunity to spent some time in a firm and gain invaluable work experience.
I read about divorce, mediation, financial orders and child arrangements whilst studying the Family Law module as a part of my undergraduate degree. However, it wasn’t until I joined the firm’s team of specialists that I realised what is really involved in this line of work. My supervisor, the lovely senior associate solicitor Philippa Sanderson, tried to involve me as much as possible in her work. She allowed me to read through her cases to understand what kind of documents are needed and explained every stage of the proceedings in detail. She happily found time to answer all of my questions and gave me amazing insights into an administrative side of running a law firm as well as what skills are necessary to succeed in this profession.
I also had an opportunity to have a go at drafting a divorce petition and a prenuptial agreement to understand how the discussions with clients transform into the written language on official documents. I was also allowed to sit in on one of the client meetings and drafted attendance notes afterwards, something I will have to get very good at during my solicitor training.
The short period of time I got to spent in the firm was a real pleasure. From the very moment I rang the doorbell of the office everyone made me feel welcome. I got a tour of the whole building and met all the members of the team. They were very friendly, took time to check up on me throughout my time there to see how I was getting on and gave me amazing advice.
This experience helped my confidence and allowed me to work on skills that will hopefully serve me well in my future practice.