My training contract was everything I had been looking for. Within days I was meeting clients, researching real law and, to put it bluntly, getting stuck in! As a trainee I was responsible for obtaining an ex parte injunction that required me to run to the Court and persuade the ushers to allow me access to the sitting High Court judge; experience such as that has proved invaluable - all at a time when my peers in other firms were still getting to grips with the coffee machine! When my qualification date arrived, I had no doubts about where my future lay. I wanted to be an employment lawyer, and the firm backed me unequivocally; three years later I was heading up a successful and expanding team and was rewarded with early partnership. I often wonder whether any other firms in the UK would have afforded me these same opportunities so early in my career; I suspect very few indeed. I am the Partner responsible for the recruitment of our trainee solicitors. I take my part in that responsibility extremely seriously; not least because, one day, I hope to be sitting round the partnership table with some of the applicants I recruited as trainee solicitors.
I sincerely believe that I could not have chosen a better firm at which to embark upon my legal career. Very early on in my training contract I realised that what I had been informed on the recruitment day by Trainees, Solicitors, Associates and Partners alike (which is that: Leathes Prior is a firm at which you will enjoy early responsibility as a trainee; trainees are given challenging, engaging and meaningful tasks; and you have the opportunity to make your mark and mould and progress your career in any way you wish) was all entirely true. I had such confidence in the support and encouragement offered by the firm that I recall, in my second seat, pitching (alongside a fellow trainee) an idea we had for a new department to two Partners! The quality of training and opportunities you receive as a trainee at Leathes Prior really is/are second to none. Upon completing my training contract I qualified into the Dispute Resolution Team where my desire, over time, to specialise in particular areas (including Education and Equine) and qualify as an Accredited Mediator has been fully backed. I am now a Partner of the firm and will be forever grateful that I applied for a training contract at Leathes Prior.
I was bowled over by the firm and the people I met on the recruitment day and have not looked back since. I moved to Norwich without knowing anybody here but settled in quickly, helped in no small way by the fact that the firm is very sociable. At Leathes Prior you will be given early responsibility and the chance to find an area of law and practice you are interested in. You will have the opportunity to learn about this area, be encouraged to form your own view about the advice to be given and develop the confidence to back your own judgement – all with the necessary guidance from the outstanding and experienced lawyers who oversee the training. You will receive first-rate training at this firm and, I believe, will become a better lawyer more quickly than if, for example, you were at a larger firm where you could be chained to a photocopier and progress very slowly. Only a small number of trainees are taken on by Leathes Prior and one of the things on which the partners place particular importance is whether they can see the applicant becoming a future partner of the firm; that is far from the case with a lot of other firms. I could not be happier as a result of my decision to apply to Leathes Prior, which I put down to the quality of work and training, the chance to get involved in marketing events and the firm being such an exciting and fun place to work.
One of the best things about training with Leathes Prior is the fact that almost every day in my time at the firm has given rise to different challenges, rewards and experiences. If you are someone who enjoys client contact, thrives on early responsibility and is willing to put in hard work, I sincerely recommend applying for a Training Contract with Leathes Prior.
A great advantage of training with LP is that we offer such a wide range of legal services across the Corporate, Commercial and Private Client spectrums meaning that during your training contract you are bound to find your calling. I found that I had a particular appetite for Corporate and Commercial work whilst on the LPC but after spending my first training seat at LP I found that perhaps it just wasn't me after all. Good job there were still plenty of options open. I explored Family, Wills, Trusts and Probate, Elderly Client, Court of Protection and Conveyancing during the remainder of my training and I thoroughly enjoyed each of those areas. Equally, I could have explored the worlds of Regulation, Criminal Defence, Employment, Civil Litigation and so many more. If you are lucky enough to be offered a training contract with us you will also discover that you have great colleagues. LP has a young, dynamic, down to earth and very likeable workforce. It excites me to look around at my colleagues and think that one day I could be sitting around the partnership table with some of them.
I thoroughly enjoyed everything my training contract had to offer; early responsibility, demanding and interesting work, plenty of client contract, a friendly and supportive environment, plenty of social events, the partners’ “open door policy” and a wide range of practice areas to experience. You are encouraged to carry out your own research, make your own decisions and run your own files early on and, although it might on occasion feel like you have been thrown in the deep end, the support is always there when you need it. More than anything I was impressed with the time and dedication the partners will give to help make you an excellent lawyer. That really is invaluable. Leathes Prior is a great firm to work for and, if you are up for the challenge, it is an excellent opportunity to thrive and kick-start your career.
No two days are the same and when you pick up the phone you never know what new scenario awaits you. There is a thriving social scene within the firm and it is not uncommon in the evenings for there to be networking events or casual get-togethers with colleagues after the day's work. I have recently been dragon boat racing, to a pub quiz and bravely boarded a canoe in a thunderstorm as part of Leathes Prior teams in the name of networking, to give just a few examples!
What has remained constant throughout my time as a trainee is the great level of responsibility I am afforded, together with an unwavering network of support from the fee-earners in each team - they are never too busy to help out and answer questions. I am able to gain a thorough insight into the world of conveyancing, and am tasked with a variety of assignments throughout the day, which are each reviewed before being sent out; in this way, I can obtain regular feedback. I've not only learnt the law, but how to manage clients’ expectations and help them through what can be a stressful time. If you're looking for a Training Contract where you have high levels of client contact, can really get stuck in to the work, and are encouraged to form your own judgments, all whilst working in a flexible and sociable environment, then apply to Leathes Prior.