Trainee solicitor

London trainee solicitor

Why did you apply for a training contract at Hempsons?

To be able to find a job that is academically challenging in the fields of medical science and law that simultaneously has a direct human impact is extraordinary. I studied natural sciences at Cambridge and as such had many lectures with doctors. Through my degree I came to appreciate how much we owe to the medical profession. Therefore, working for a defence and advisory, rather than a claimant, firm was natural. I am, however, lucky to be training at Hempsons which combines job satisfaction with a uniquely welcoming and established environment.

What type and level of work can a Hempsons trainee expect?

Because Hempsons does not take on more than two trainees a year, you get exposure to a variety of work plus responsibility from day one. In my first two months I have taken notes at the Old Bailey, given a talk to the firm on my experience, drafted initial solicitors reports, organised medical records, researched into both legal and medical questions, drafted application notices and Orders to be sent to court, attended training conferences and organized and taken notes at conferences with Counsel. You definitely get thrown in at the deep end, but the amount of work you get is monitored and you have every opportunity to ask questions and get feedback.

What do you feel makes a successful Hempsons trainee?

You definitely have to be enthusiastic and willing to learn about medicine and the structure of the NHS as well as the law, both of which seem to change at an extraordinarily fast pace. There is an atmosphere of independence which requires the confidence to ask and volunteer at every opportunity. Being one of only four trainees in the firm means there are many chances to experience a variety of work.

What is the best/hardest part of the training?

The best part is the legal and medical academic challenge of some of the work, which is given in an atmosphere of encouragement and teaching. The hardest part is learning how to combine academics and logistics. However, the continued learning experience makes every day exciting.

How are you supervised and supported through your training?

I sit in a room with a partner who oversees my work and is available to answer any questions I have. I have a second year trainee ‘buddy’ who I can go to if I need more trainee-related advice.

What advice would you give to a prospective Hempsons trainee solicitor?

Be organised and efficient and don’t be scared to ask questions. Volunteer for every opportunity to do an extra piece of work or attend a last minute conference. There is so much to learn and every experience is both fascinating and valuable to your development.